Periodontics is the branch of dentistry primarily concerned with the health of the gums and bone which support the teeth. Gum disease may be superficial gingivitis or more extensive periodontitis. Healthy gums and underlying bone are vital to the retention of teeth; and periodontitis may also be linked with several general health conditions. Treatments include periodontics and dental hygiene.
Symptoms of Periodontal Disease:
In many cases patients will be unaware that they have gum disease, as gingivitis and periodontitis can be pain-free. Some of the symptoms may include:
– Swollen gums
– Bleeding gums
– Bad breath (halitosis)
– Loose or mobile teeth
– Drifting teeth
– Tartar build-up
– Painful swelling around individual teeth
Occasionally gum disease is so severe that a dental referral must be made to a periodontist, or the patient may be in danger of losing a tooth or multiple teeth. The periodontist works with the patient to restore their mouth to health, and thereafter in most cases the patient is returned to the care of their regular dentist and dental hygienist.
Extensive information about periodontal diseases and periodontic treatments is available at the website of the American Academy of Periodontology: www.perio.org.