Periodontics is the study of the supporting structures of the teeth as well as their diseases. This is the gums (gingiva), alveolar bone, cementum, and the periodontal ligaments, which hold the teeth in the socket. Periodontists treat periodontal disease and oral inflammation, which are important to maintain healthy levels of bone in the jaw as well as minimize the amount of gum recession.
Periodontal risk has been correlated with an increased risk for cardiovascular diseases. Because both are chronic inflammatory diseases, inflammation may be a common factor connecting the two problems. Although this is rarely found in children and adolescents, it is critical that they learn the importance of keeping their teeth and gums healthy every day by brushing and flossing.
It is important to be aware of the symptoms of gum disease – red, swollen, bleeding gums or bad breath that doesn’t go away. Let your dentist know immediately as early prevention can prevent later problems. Periodontal disease can be genetic, so make sure to take extra care of your gums if you are at risk!
Plaque is the sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth. Bacteria live in plaque and secrete acids that cause tooth decay and irritate gum tissue. This irritation causes an inflammatory reaction by your body that can eventually lead to gingivitis and periodontal disease. If plaque is not removed regularly by tooth brushing and flossing, it hardens to create calculus (also known as tartar). Calculus cannot be removed with a toothbrush; only a dental professional can remove it during an oral cleaning. To keep plaque and calculus under control, it is essential to brush your teeth twice every day, floss at least once every day, and see your dental professional for regular cleanings.