Periodontics is a dental specialty focused on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of a variety of periodontal diseases – gum disease for short – as well as the placement of dental implants. One can think of it this way: it is dentistry of the “underworld”. Under the gumline, under the teeth, and the pursuit and capture of our old nemesis, harmful bacteria. Any dentist trained in this area of expertise is generally called a periodontist. Perio treatments may also include oral pathology such as gingival tumors, and various types of oral cancer. A dentist who specializes in these treatment methods is called a periodontist. A periodontist is quite multi-talented; they can also restore patients’ lost teeth as a result of periodontal diseases through the placement of dental implants. Periodontists are experts in relieving and treating oral inflammation, keeping the pesky feelings of throbbing, sore gums and teeth at bay.
There are many causes of Periodontal disease, although a common aspect is a deep-rooted inflammation of the teeth and gums caused by germs, decay, or a combination of both. Those bacteria, if left unchecked and untreated through regular checkups, can overwhelm the body’s natural defenses, spreading rapidly below the gumline, wreaking havoc on the sensitive tissues surrounding the teeth. Ultimately, over time, the infection will destroy bone tissue, causing the gums to recede away from the teeth, and the support for the teeth will weaken, resulting in permanent tooth loss.
When it comes to addressing the root causes periodontal disease, the old adage applies: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Regular checkups and annual cleanings at your dentist, and a consistent program of at-home brushing and flossing go a long way toward maintaining good dental health. It’s even more helpful to take it easy on the sweets and opt for tooth-friendly and healthy alternatives, such as green tea.