i.e the branch of dentistry concerned with the structures surrounding and supporting the teeth.
in layman’s terms, periodontology is the study and treatment of gum (periodontal) diseases. there are many different types of gum disease the simplest and most common being gingivitis. the most complex, chronic periodontitis.
ie. inflammation of the gums.
it is said that 70% of the UK adult population has some form of gingivitis. in most cases it is a reaction to the build-up of plaque on the teeth and is non-destructive. the earliest sign of the disease is bleeding, commonly on brushing. they may also look red and swollen. this type of gingivitis is reversible. treatment involves improved oral hygiene and a professional scale and polish (hygiene visit) in most cases
ie. inflammation of the tissue around the teeth, often causing shrinkage of the gums and loosening of the teeth.
if left untreated, gingivitis will progress and the tissues holding the teeth in place will start to break down and detach from the teeth allowing more plaque build-up. this is called chronic periodontitis, also known as pyorrhoea. it involves progressive loss of the jaw bone around the teeth. although painless initially, if left untreated, it can lead to halitosis, abcesses and the loosening and subsequent loss of teeth.
treatment will require a periodontist (gum specialist) evaluation and may include tooth extraction and surgery. ideally, we’d like not to see anyone get to the latter stages of gum disease as treatment is more difficult and the outcome less predictable… as we would say…. ‘once a perio patient, always a perio patient’!!!
and the rest
there are a vast number of other types of gum disease. from types of acute gingivitis, gingival recession, stillman’s cleft etc. if you have a specific query, please give us a call and we’ll do our best to help.