Periodontics – Faqs

Who is a Periodontist?

A Periodontist is a specialist trained in the care of (periodontal tissues) gums and other tissues that support the teeth. Periodontists have years of extra schooling and experience that allow them to use special techniques to treat advanced periodontal diseases.

What are the common signs of gum diseases?

Common signs are bleeding, red and swollen gums. Irrespective of the person’s complexion, the gums should never be red, or be swollen. Persistent bad breath, receding gums, increasing spaces between the teeth, one or more teeth becoming loose, and vague aching, itching or discomfort around the gums are some of the other common signs.

What is gingiva (gum) and its function?

The gingiva (gum) is the protective type of skin that is closely adapted to the necks of the teeth and covers the bone holding the roots of the teeth. There is a shallow ditch like space that separates the margin of the normal gingiva from the tooth surface. This space is 2mm in depth and is called gingival sulcus. It is one of the places that a dentist will carefully examine to detect the presence of gum disease.

What causes Gum Disease?

Gum disease, is an infection of the gums caused by bacteria. These bacteria produce toxins that irritate the gingiva, and also directly infiltrate into the gingiva causing them to become inflamed and bleed easily. If the irritation persists, the gingiva separate from the teeth and form pockets. Plaque then forms within these pockets and eventually destroys the gingiva and the underlying bone. The teeth may then become loose and fall out or need to be removed.

Do all gum disease require surgical procedure?

Several non-surgical techniques are available for treating periodontal conditions, and the technique chosen will depend on the extent of damage that the disease has caused to the periodontium. The Periodontist will evaluate the condition of the periodontium and removal all the plaque and tartar deposits. In addition to this he will also use various antiseptics and antibiotics that are specifically meant for treating periodontal disease. If this treatment also fails to completely resolve the disease, he will have to resort to periodontal surgery.

What is a graft and can it replace tissues lost due to periodontal disease?

If the gum disease is diagnosed at a stage when there is not much loss of periodontal tissues, the lost tissues can be grafted. Grafts can be of soft tissues or hard tissues. The former is always taken from another site in the mouth of the patient being treated. Hard tissue grafts can be purchased from tissue banks.

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