Periodontics is a specialised branch of dentistry that has to do with both the treatment and study of the bone and soft tissue (commonly known as gum) that act as support structures for the teeth and jaw. A periodontist has an additional 3 years of surgical training beyond dental school and has trained to become a dental specialist in a highly competitive field of study. Not only do periodontists treat and diagnose periodontal issues, but they also help prevent multiple forms of gum disease and are specially qualified to execute the grafting of bone and soft tissue of patients in surgeries.
Periodontal disease is also commonly known as gum disease. The plaque builds up on the surface of the tooth and up towards the gum line is where it most commonly starts. If a patient does not floss and brush their teeth regularly then this build-up can harden and turn into what oral hygienists call tartar. If still left untreated, more plaque will build up over the tartar and cause your gums to become red, distended and inflamed. This swollen and inflamed stage is known as gingivitis, which is the first stage of periodontal disease and if allowed to progress with no proper treatment will result in a case of periodontal disease.
To know if you are at risk of having periodontal disease, you should ask yourself the following questions:
Do you smoke or make use to products containing tobacco?
Do you not brush and floss your teeth regularly?
Do you have medical conditions such as diabetes, osteoporosis, heart or gum disease?
Are you experiencing any kind of symptoms that could be related to gum disease?
If your answer is yes to 1 or more of these questions then you should book an appointment with a periodontist who will be able to give your mouth a full check-up and gauge whether or not you need treatment.