Periodontics is a specialized area of dentistry that focuses on the health of the tissues supporting and surrounding the teeth. A dentist or periodontist works with patients on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of the gums, bone, and ligaments in the jaw.
Periodontal disease is mainly caused by plaque, the sticky bacteria that form on the teeth. Without proper oral hygiene, this plaque can cause infection in the gums, bones, and tissues. In addition to poor oral hygiene, periodontal disease may be caused by diseases that suppress the immune system, genetic predisposition, tobacco use, and certain medications. Left untreated, periodontitis can cause tooth loss.
Regular twice yearly visits to your dentist will aid in the early detection and treatment of periodontal disease.
On occasion, periodontal disease will extend into the jaw bone causing irregular defects or holes. These defects must be repaired to minimize bone loss and maintain oral health.
Prior to the procedure, the teeth should be cleaned thoroughly. A local anesthetic is given to numb the area around the deformed bone. When the patient is comfortable, the gum is separated from the teeth, so that the bone may be visualized. At that time, the root of the tooth is cleaned and the area of the affected bone is cleaned as well. A drill will be used to reshape the bone that surrounds the tooth. In some cases, bone grafting may be necessary. Once the bone has been reshaped to support the tooth, the gum is replaced to its original position at the tooth and stitched into place.
Post operatively, a special periodontal dressing is placed over the area to protect it as it heals. Pain medication and antimicrobial mouthwash may be prescribed for the days following the surgery. Stitches are removed at a later follow-up appointment.