Periodontics is specialization in the diagnosis and treatment of gum disease, which is the common term for periodontal disease. Periodontal treatments include root planning and scaling, gum grafting, and laser gum surgery. Another treatment often performed by a periodontist is Osseous surgery, which replaces lost gum and bone tissues.
The first thing your dentist will suggest is behavioral changes including ensuring thorough brushing, flossing, the use of specialized toothpastes and mouthwashes, as well as changes like quitting smoking or not consuming sugary drinks like soda. In office treatments may also include tartar removal, which is also called scaling or root planning. During this process the dentist or hygienist uses special tools to scrape the build up away from the teeth both above and below the gum line. Depending on the severity of the periodontal disease, surgical treatment may be necessary. Surgical treatments include bone and soft tissue grafts, flap surgery, where the gums are lifted back and the tartar removed, and guided tissue regeneration where the regrowth of gum and bone tissue is guided with mesh-like fabric to encourage stronger tissue to form. These treatments have a reputation for being painful, but your dentist will take every action to ensure you are as comfortable as possible.
Poor dental hygiene is the primary cause of gum disease. The area where the teeth meet the gums is particularly vulnerable to periodontal disease because it is the perfect breeding ground for the bacteria that causes plaque and tartar. If teeth are not effectively cleaned and cared for, plaque develops and hardens into tartar. Tartar build up making it even more difficult to keep teeth clean, and then the bacteria accumulate underneath it. Periodontal health can deteriorate quickly because the bacteria and the toxins it releases just makes the mouth more susceptible to further growth. For example, as the bacteria increases, it releases more toxins in the mouth, causing the gums recede further, exposing more tooth surface to the bacteria. Without treatment, bacteria can eventually reach the root of the tooth. This can cause the tooth to become loose or fall out.