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Haven’t a clue about periodontics? We’ll soon sort it.

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Home  /  Periodontal - Dental News  /  Haven’t a clue about periodontics? We’ll soon sort it.

You may be a tad vague about the subject of periodontics – but that could ultimately cost you a tooth! Here’s why you should find out more.

More often than not, the topics we cover here in our MyDental blog are relatively self-explanatory – and relate to subject matter that our patients talk to us about on a daily basis in our surgery.


The one major exception, however, is periodontics. We’re not sure why, but the general public seem to thing that this is more scientific or more ‘medical’ than other branches of dentistry, and tend not to bother getting to grips with the subject.


This could be a big mistake, however. And here’s why. Periodontics is defined as “the branch of dentistry concerned with the structures surrounding and supporting the teeth.”


And you can see, immediately, where the problem lies. If your teeth are in perfect health, but you develop a problem with the structures which support your teeth, then your teeth are in the direct line of fire. If there’s nothing to support them, they’ll obviously be at huge risk.

Okay – you have my attention. Tell me more.

We’ve already given you the dictionary definition of periodontics, so hopefully you’re starting to appreciate just how important the topic is.


There are different gradients of periodontal disease, but let’s start with the most common and most common form of periodontal disease – which is known as gum disease.


You’re probably saying to yourself “Aha, I’ve heard of gum disease”. And you'd be right, because up to four in five people can be suffering from some form of gum disease at any time (according to American figures which we’ve seen recently).


The cause of gum disease is an ‘enemy’ that we’ve spoken about many, many times in our blog – bacterial infection. Which is one of the big reasons that you should use toothpaste or mouthwash that have an anti-bacterial property to them.


The bacterial infection is not actually able to damage the hard substance of the tooth. Unfortunately, however, it can cause chaos around the gums and the bone areas that support your teeth.


And if this situation goes un-diagnosed and un-treated, eventually you’ll be looking at a lost tooth – or lost teeth. The infection can affect a single tooth – but like any form of infection, it tends to spread, so the longer you leave things, the worse the impact will be.


Are there warning signs of gum disease?

Thankfully, nature tends to give us a number of warning signs that there’s something amiss with our gums. So if you spot any of the following, we strongly recommend that you drop in to your dentist fairly quickly. Here are some of the main signs to watch out for:


•  Your gums become inflamed, or look redder than normal when you look at them in the mirror.


• A loss of bone density around the general tooth area. Again, you can spot this in the mirror if you're vigilant, or perhaps it will be spotted by your dentist at your regular check-up.

Tooth loss is not an inevitable result of ageing

You might be inclined to believe that we all lose a tooth or two as we get older – but this is very definitely some law of dentistry. Your teeth were designed to last you a lifetime – and if you care for them properly, there’s no reason to believe that you won’t meet your maker with a big toothy smile!


We’re not in the business of scare-mongering, but we assure you that coming in to visit your dentist on a regular basis – before trouble builds up – is one of the most powerful things you can do to make your teeth last your for your entire mortal span.


And even if your general dentist is not a fulltime periodontist, he will be well versed in the general area of periodontics – and will spot early signs of problems immediately.


If you fail to get regular check-ups, mild gum disease can escalate into conditions such as a periodontal abscess – and trust us, you don't want to go there!


So why not make yourself a promise today? Before you start to develop serious periodontal problems, let us give you a thorough check-up that will put your mind at rest.



For more information

If you’d like to research the issue of periodontal disease a little further, here’s an article on the HSE website that you might like - http://www.hse.ie/eng/health/az/G/Gingivitis-and-periodontitis/Treating-gum-disease.html