We need to talk about Periodontics.
Periodontics is not something the man in the street is totally familiar with – so let’s put that right for you in this blog.
We were at ‘a bit of a do’ recently and spent a pleasant few hours talking to a number of the guests in attendance. At one stage of the evening, we sere standing with a glass of wine and chatting a number of ‘ordinary citizens and a middle-aged gentleman who turned out to be a periodontal surgeon.
As people do in these sorts of situations, we all asked each other what we did for a living, and when our periodontist identified his profession, a rather blank glaze came over most guests’ eyes.
They had a vague idea that this was some form of dentistry, but from the ensuing questions, it was very clear that this was as far as their knowledge stretched. Which is a pity, because periodontics is a branch of dentistry that pretty much all of us will come across at some stage of our lives.
To give you a working definition of periodontics, it is the particular discipline within dentistry that’s concerns itself with the structures surrounding and supporting the teeth.
And that’s what makes the topic so vitally important. If your gums succumb to disease of the gum, you’re in deep, deep trouble, as your teeth will simply have nothing to support them.
Is periodontal disease common?
Yes. And by far the most common form of periodontal ailment is gum disease – also known as periodontal disease. The root of the problem, as is so often the case with problems within your mouth, is bacterial infection. This infection is not powerful enough to actually harm the teeth, but it wreaks havoc on the softer tissues such as gums.
As to whether you know you have the condition, there are a number of important signs and symptoms to look out for, including the following:
• A reddening or inflammation around the gum area. If you have a close look at your teeth and gums in the mirror, this is usually pretty obvious to the naked eye.
• There can also be a loss of bone density around the tooth area – and again, you can often spot this on a casual inspection.
How quickly does it spread?
The good news about gum disease is that you can sort it pretty easily if you catch it early. But if not, the disease can spread from the area around a single tooth to the area surrounding multiple teeth. And if left untreated, you could be headed for more serious problems such as a periodontal abscess – or even tooth loss in extreme circumstances.
It’s hard to put an exact figure on how prevalent the condition is, but in America, they reckon that four out of five people have some degree of gum disease at any given time. Obviously, this can include anything from very mild cases right up to tooth-endangering levels.
It’s very important that you’re vigilant for the signs of periodontal disease, and to get you started, you could try reading this helpful article from the website of Colgate - http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/conditions/gum-disease/article/fighting-gum-disease-how-to-keep-your-teeth