Periodontics

Periodontics is that specialty of dentistry which encompasses the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the supporting and surrounding tissues of the teeth or their substitutes and the maintenance of the health, function and aesthetics of these structures and tissues.

PERIODONTITIS

Periodontitis is an advanced gum disease that may occur if gingivitis is not treated. The gum margin, the part of the gum that seals to the tooth, is weakened and spaces form between the tooth and the gum. These spaces are called ‘periodontal pockets.’ Bacteria become trapped in these pockets causing further inflammation (redness and swelling).

RISK FACTORS

Factors that can increase your risk of periodontitis include:

Gingivitis

Poor oral health habits

Smoking or chewing tobacco

Older age

Hormonal changes, such as those related to pregnancy or menopause

Substance abuse

Obesity

Inadequate nutrition, including vitamin C deficiency

Genetics

Certain diseases, such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease

Certain medications that cause dry mouth or gum changes

Conditions that cause decreased immunity, such as leukemia, HIV/AIDS and cancer treatment

TOOTH SCALING AND ROOT PLANING

 First, tartar, plaque, and calculus that has built up on the surface of the tooth above and below the gum line are scraped off.

Next, rough spots on the tooth roots are smoothened, making it difficult for bacteria to collect and cause plaque and calculus build-up.

The process is accompanied by copious irrigation using an antibacterial reagent.

Results

Reduction of pockets

Reduced root exposure

Maintenance of tooth attachment apparatus

Reduced inflammation

GINGIVECTOMY

This is the total removal of a portion of gingiva (gum) from in and around a tooth or teeth in order to treat gum disease or to lengthen the height or width of a tooth or a section of teeth.

PROCEDURE

A local anaesthetic is given to keep the patient comfortable during the procedure.

The diseased tissue is trimmed and removed, the remaining gums are reattached in and around the teeth by sutures (stitches), and the area is cleaned with saline and antibacterial rinses.

After the procedure is completed, a surgical dressing, or pack, is placed in and around the teeth and gums. This dressing is left in place for about a week.

Indications

Elimination of pockets

Elimination of persistent gingival enlargements

Elimination of periodontal abscesses

Crown lengthening