Is periodontium no plague?

Teeth aren't everything. There's also periodontium! Periodontology deals with treatment of diseases of the periodontium, as well as the tissues surrounding the teeth.

What is the periodontium?

Periodontium is a group of tissues surrounding a tooth, protecting it against inflammation and keeping it in the socket. It consists of:
- gums,
- periodontal ligament,
- cementum,
- alveolar bone.
Moreover, it's worth knowing that periodontium is divided into the marginal periodontium and the periapical periodontium.

What are the causes of periodontal diseases?

In most cases, the cause of periodontal diseases is poor oral hygiene, namely imprecise or too short teeth brushing, which results in the accumulation of plaque on teeth. After a while, this plaque hardens and turns into tartar. Tartar is the source of toxins, which cause inflammation. Other causes of periodontal diseases include:
- genetic predispositions,
- systemic diseases,
- congenital or acquired malocclusions,
- poorly made prosthetic restorations (bridges, crowns, dentures),
- bruxism,
- grinding of teeth.

Periodontal diseases may co-occur with other diseases, such as diabetes or those which result in significant immunodeficiency (e.g. HIV). Diseases can also be caused by improper diet and lifestyle. Specifically, it pertains to a deficiency of B and C vitamins. Cigarette smoking or being on some medications (for epilepsy and certain cardiovascular diseases, antibiotics of the cephalosporin group) also pose a serious threat.

What is the most common periodontal disease?

It's known as periodontitis, which is an inflammation of the periodontium. In extreme cases, it can lead to the loss of dentition. Gingivitis is the result of bacteria present in the plaque and tartar. What is the reason for that? The first (and, to a large extent, frequently the only) symptom is bleeding of the gums, which appears while brushing the teeth. Other symptoms include redness and pain of gums, exposed tooth necks, hypersensitivity to temperature changes, shifting of teeth (gaps between teeth), wobbling of teeth, bad breath or even tooth loss.

How are periodontal diseases treated?

Curettage is one of the ways of treating periodontal diseases. There are two types of curettage: closed and open. Closed curettage involves cleaning periodontal pockets from deposits that have accumulated there and which caused inflammation, whereas open curettage is performed when periodontal pockets are deep. To clean the pockets, the gum has to be lifted and the mucoperiosteal flap incised. These procedures are performed under anaesthesia.

Main indications for the procedure are:
- deep periodontal pockets,
- acute and chronic periodontal inflammation,
- peri-implantitis.

Does periodontology help in the treatment of bone defects and tooth loss?

The development of medicine, and in particular periodontology, helps to solve the problem of bone atrophy. Patients, who have lost teeth, increasingly want to use implants for this purpose. Unfortunately, due to bone defects, it can't be performed in every person. This is when the so-called bone augmentation comes to the rescue, that is, the preparation of the bone for the implant. Such bone regeneration is painless and is performed under local anaesthesia.

Other periodontal procedures

Gummy smile correction

The gummy smile is a disproportion between the so-called white zone (teeth) and the red zone (gums). This disproportion results from an incorrect position of gums in relation to the crowns of the teeth. The lack of proportion between these elements creates the impression that teeth are too short when compared to gums, thus disrupting the aesthetics of a smile. Its main causes may include genetic defects, orthodontic defects, short upper lip, delayed teeth eruption.

One of the methods of removing the gummy smile is the surgical removal of excessive gums and lengthening of clinical crowns. The periodontist performs the procedure under local anaesthesia, which guarantees the patient its painless course. Sometimes making veneers or full ceramic crowns may be necessary after the procedure to reconstruct the correct proportions and shape of teeth.

How to prevent periodontal disease?

There's one universal rule that applies not only to periodontology - prevention is better than cure. Therefore, we invite all patients to supra- and subgingival scaling as well as sandblasting. Thanks to these procedures, we'll remove bacteria which cause inflammation of periodontal tissue. Make an appointment :-)