Periodontics is the branch of dentistry specializing in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of peridontal disease. Periodontal means "around the tooth" Periodontal diseases are bacterial infections that destroy the attachment fibers and supporting bone that hold the teeth in the mouth. Left untreated, these diseases can lead to tooth loss.
These infections destroy the foundation, the gum and the bone around your teeth. 75% of American adults over the age of 50 have some form of periodontal disease.
Periodontal diseases are painless until it is almost too late to save teeth. If untreated, can cause bad breath and swollen bleeding gums and eventually tooth loss. Despite of these facts, periodontal diseases are also some of the most preventable diseases.
Your gum tissue is not attached to the teeth as high as it may seem There is a very shallow v-shaped crevice called sulcus between the tooth and the gums. Periodontal diseases attack just below the gum line in the sulcus, where they cause the attachment of the tooth and it supporting tissues to break down. As the tissues are damaged, the sulcus develops into a pocket, the more severe the disease the greater the depth of the pocket.
The main cause of periodontal disease is the accumulation of plaque bacteria. Plaque is an often colorless mass of bacteria that sticks to teeth, crowns and bridges, and other tissues in the oral cavity. Plaque is constantly forming on the teeth. Plaque irritates the gums, causing them to become red, tender and swollen.
If not removed daily, plaque becomes the hard material known as tartar and can not be removed by brushing and flossing alone.
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