What is Periodontology?
Periodontology is a branch of dentistry that aims to diagnose and treat gum diseases and to protect oral and dental health after treatment. Dentists specialized in this field are called periodontists. All problems arising in the gums are examined under this section.
Works are carried out to minimize the discomforts encountered with gum diseases and dental tissues, to stop the progression of the disease and inflammation and to cure it. Treatment methods determined by aiming to restore the oral and dental health of the patients are applied.
What Periodontology Does and What It Looks For?
Periodontology department treats all soft tissue disorders in the mouth. All necessary cleaning and gum operations to restore the gums to their former health, as well as operations required for gingival aesthetics, bone rebuilding operations in cases where the bone has melted, various wounds, growths and treatments for loose teeth are also performed in this unit.
It diagnoses and treats the problem in order to prevent the progression of dental disorders or infections and inflammations that occur in the gums due to different reasons.
It makes evaluations for the treatment process and makes plans to ensure the necessary improvement. It looks at the problematic gums and soft tissues. Treatment applications are made in cases such as inflammation or infection.
Periodontology not only identifies diseases, but also tries to ensure the protection of the tooth structure during and after the treatment process.
What are Periodontal Diseases?
Periodontal diseases are inflammatory diseases of the gums and dental tissues. Approximately 70 percent of tooth loss in adults is caused by periodontal diseases. If the diseases are detected early, the treatment is simple and shows a high rate of improvement with the procedures performed in the Periodontology department.
Prevention or treatment of gum disease helps to preserve the natural structure of the teeth, facilitate chewing and digestion.
Gum diseases are generally examined under 2 headings. These are: Gingivitis and Periodontitis.
Gingivitis: Gum disease in which the bone is not yet affected, only the gums are affected. If left untreated, bone resorption and gum recession begin to occur.
Periodontitis: It is a gum disease in which bone resorption begins when gingivitis is left untreated. Depending on the structure and genetic predisposition of the individual, a very rapid bone destruction can be seen. If the teeth are not treated until they completely lose their bone, the support bone holding the tooth is gone, the tooth starts to shake and has to be extracted.
What are the Symptoms of Gum Disorders?
Many people do not recognize gum disease when it progresses slowly. For this reason, there may be inflammatory conditions in the gums even if there are no symptoms. However, when the inflammation grows or if the area where it is located is more susceptible to symptoms, gingivitis manifests itself with some symptoms and signs. If symptoms occur, treatment can be performed by specialists in the periodontology department.
Healthy gums have a fixed structure so that the teeth fit tightly and are light pink in color. Symptoms of gum disorders can be listed as follows:
- Swollen and rounded gums,
- Dark pink or dark red gums,
- Bleeding gums when eating or brushing,
- Bad breath,
- Gum recession,
- Sensitive gums,
- Swaying or displacement of teeth.
Bleeding in the gums, reddish-purplish discoloration, recession of the gums, swelling of the gums, abscess formation, tenderness and bad breath. The causes of these formations are as follows;
- Not cleaning the teeth regularly,
- Bacterial plaque,
- Systemic diseases,
- Excessive alcohol consumption.
How to Diagnose Gum Diseases
Gum diseases are diagnosed with the use of methods such as intraoral examination and jaw X-ray. These methods play an important role in detecting the disease. The specialist can also listen to the patient's complaints and medical history and plan the course of action to be followed.
With the examination, a treatment plan is created by determining the presence of calculus, gingival bleeding, gingival growths, and how much bone resorption is present.
How to Treat Gum Diseases?
Patients who notice any of the symptoms of gum disease should consult their dentist immediately. The earlier the treatment of gum disease is started, the faster the transition of the disease from gingivitis to periodontitis is prevented and the disease is prevented before tissue loss occurs.
The treatment of gum diseases, which are among the Periodontal diseases, can be performed by periodontist physicians specialized in this field.
In the treatment of gingivitis patients; after scaling (detertraj procedure), an individual oral cleaning plan is prepared and patients are asked to follow this plan. Gum health is restored with regular check-ups.
In the treatment of periodontitis patients, only tartar cleaning is not enough, since there is also loss of bone, bone cavities covered with gum, which we call "pockets", are formed and the food we eat and the microbes in the mouth fill these cavities. In order for the gum to regain its health, these cavities must also be cleaned by numbing and this process is called curettage.
The curettage procedure varies depending on the number of teeth affected. These procedures are usually completed in a few sessions. An individual oral cleaning plan is created and patients are expected to follow this plan. Gum health is restored with regular checks.
In teeth where bone loss is very high, operations can be performed using bone powders along with various bone-building drugs.