The periodontium corresponds to the tissue supporting the tooth and comprises the gum, desmodontal ligament, and alveolar bone. Periodontology is the branch of dentistry that is specialized in the treatment of the peridontium and aims to maintain or restore its health -indispensable for good oral health.
What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease is due to bacterial infections proliferating in the dental plaque and manifesting in the form of gingivitis (inflammation of the gum) or periodontitis (inflammation of the tooth support tissues).
Gingivitis appears as bleeding of the gums, notably during brushing, oedema, and gum redness. Pain is not systematically present. In the absence of care, gingivitis evolves to periodontitis.
Periodontitis provokes a loss of the periodontium attachment around the teeth, leading to a progressive loosening and eventual loss of teeth. The rapidity of the evolution of periodontitis varies according to the microorganisms present, the individual patient, and the age of occurrence.
Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the adult.
What is the treatment for periodontal disease?
Care of periodontal disease requires rigorous oral hygiene care associated with tooth scaling and radicular surfacing (elimination of sub-gingival deposits). In the case of a very advanced evolution, surgical care of periodontal disease may be indicated: scaling/surfacing where the dental surgeon opens the gum to directly access the area to be treated, guided tissue regeneration. No treatment will be effective in the absence of good daily hygiene at home - a crucial element to obtain good healing conditions.
To guarantee a long-term stability of the periodontium, it is of the utmost importance that the patient maintains a high level of oral hygiene and consults regularly.
A direct relationship between periodontal disease and tobacco use has been demonstrated on many occasions without any possible doubt. For this reason, it is advised for smokers to cease, or at least to decrease significantly their tobacco use. An increasing number of studies now demonstrate a link between periodontal disease and overall general health (increased risk of arteriosclerosis, miscarriage ,or premature birth, etc.).
Good periodontal health is therefore not only useful to preserve good teeth!