Periodontics is a branch of dentistry that primarily focuses on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of issues that affect gum tissues in the mouth. The most common issue periodontics deals with is gum disease. This is an infection of gum tissues that is caused by plaque and tartar building up on teeth roots and gum pockets. It can be reversed in its early stages, but its advanced stages can only be managed with dental treatments.
Frequently asked questions about periodontics
Let us take a look at the answers to some of the questions you might have about periodontics:
1. How does a dentist reverse gum disease?
Only the first stage of gum disease, called gingivitis, can be reversed by performing dental treatments. The standard approach is to educate the patient about the importance of practicing good oral hygiene since this reduces plaque and tartar build-up in gum pockets and teeth roots.
Improved oral hygiene combined with teeth cleanings is typically enough to reverse gingivitis. If the patient fails to improve their dental hygiene, treatments like deep cleanings might be recommended.
2. Is gum disease linked to heart disease?
Research shows that gum disease increases a person’s risk of developing heart disease and other cardiovascular issues. Both are chronic inflammatory diseases, and researchers suspect that might be the link between the two conditions. Periodontal disease increases inflammation all over the body, which increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
3. What is the difference between plaque and tartar?
Plaque is a transparent film that builds up on teeth as bacteria convert food particles into acids. It is responsible for the sticky feeling in the mouth after waking up. It irritates gum tissues and causes tooth decay. Brushing and flossing get rid of plaque buildup in the mouth.
Plaque turns into tartar when left on teeth surfaces for prolonged periods. Brushing and flossing cannot remove it, so it builds up on teeth until a dentist removes it with teeth cleaning. It can get into gum pockets and teeth roots, infecting the tissues there.
4. Can children develop gum disease?
It is rare for children to develop the condition. It is more likely to develop in their teenage years. For the most part, gum disease is a condition that primarily affects people over the age of 30. The most common dental issue that affects children is tooth decay, which is caused by the same bacteria behind gum disease. Teaching children good oral hygiene early on is an excellent way to reduce their odds of developing gum disease as adults.
5. What are the symptoms of gum disease?
Most symptoms of gum disease typically are not noticeable until it reaches its advanced stages. These include:
- Receding gums
- Tender or swollen gums
- Gums that bleed
- Loose teeth
- Bad breath
- Spaces developing between teeth
- Pus coming from where teeth and gum tissues meet
Our dentist can help to diagnose and treat issues that affect your gum tissues, like periodontal disease. Give us a call or visit our Davis clinic to set up an appointment with our dentist.
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