09 Feb Periodontitis: All the keys to gum disease
What is periodontics? Periodontics is a speciality of dentistry that is the responsible for treating gum disease. Many studies suggest that periodontitis (gum disease) can lead to more severe disease. This is why periodontics is so important for dentristy. But, what does it consist of?
What does a periodontist do?
The periodontist is the dentist specialized in caring for, preventing, diagnosing and treating diseases of the gums and the tissues surrounding the teeth, known as the periodontium. It is composed of the gums, the cementum of the tooth root and the periodontal ligament that attaches the tooth to the alveolar bone. The gums also surround and protect dental implants. The periodontist eliminates gum inflammation, stops bone loss caused by bacteria and keeps patients’ teeth and implants healthy.
What are the diseases derived from periodontitis?
Today we also know that oral health directly influences general health, at a systemic level. One of the functions of the periodontist is to be able to communicate the necessary information to the patient that may be relevant to achieve good overall health. As well as informing about oral infections and the relationship they may have with possibly underlying or concomitant systemic pathologies. It is through inflammation that severe periodontitis increases the risk of suffering a heart attack, of hypertension (according to recent studies with the participation of Dr. Nart, a periodontist of reference in Barcelona), of having a worse control of diabetes, of suffering greater severity in Alzheimer’s disease and even of suffering from cancer.
¿How to prevent periodontitis?
The patient’s behavior and daily hygienic habits are determining factors in the maintenance of oral health. Uncontrolled habits such as smoking and diabetes can lead to the development of gum disease, which is why it is essential for the periodontist to identify them, as they can condition their progression. It is essential to invest in helping to change the patient’s habits as necessary in order to obtain the greatest success in their treatment, both in the short and long term.
Syntoms of Periodontitis
The common denominator of gum disease around teeth and implants is inflammation, caused primarily by bacterial proliferation, leading to an inflammatory process that leads to bone loss and thus to tooth loss if left untreated.
All this can manifest itself in pathologies or diseases that affect the tissues adjacent to the teeth, such as periodontitis and gingivitis. And in the case of implants, in diseases such as mucositis or peri-implantitis. It is the periodontist’s responsibility to diagnose these and develop a treatment plan to control infection and inflammation.
When infection control via conservative treatment (scaling and root planing) is not sufficient to improve the dental prognosis, periodontists may choose to resort to more advanced treatments in order to prevent disease progression, restore gum health and maintain teeth. Depending on the bone and gum defects that the patient may have, among others, there are a variety of regenerative techniques to restore bone loss, as well as gum loss. Gum and bone grafts help to recover what has been lost and improve the prognosis of teeth and dental implants.
If tooth loss is evident and periodontal treatment is not sufficient to maintain the teeth and they have to be extracted, or the patient already has tooth loss, the periodontist is the specialist who can also develop a treatment plan to rehabilitate and establish chewing function through the placement of dental implants. Oral rehabilitation treatment with dental implants will be performed once the effects of gum disease are reversed and controlled, and the periodontist has eliminated the inflammation and bacterial infection.
As with most medical treatments that improve health, after gum infections it is essential to continue to visit the periodontist for periodontal maintenance, in which each patient is individually informed of the number of visits required per year to maintain periodontal, dental and general health.
The periodontist in Barcelona Dr. Jose Nart is a Professor of Periodontology and a world renowned expert in the treatment of gum diseases or infections and dental implants. His patients emphasize his enormous human quality and the softness of his hands in the treatments he performs at Nart Dental Clinic Barcelona.