Periodontal disease, popularly known as “periodontitis,” is actually an inflammatory reaction of the supporting tissues of the teeth, consisting of the gums, jaw bone, and periodontal ligaments, to generally infectious stimuli.
The teeth are fixed in the maxillary bone in a cavity called the dental alveolus. There is no direct contact between the outer wall of the tooth and the inner wall of the dental alveolus but a network of ligaments (fibers) called periodontal ligaments, made of a special elastic tissue that fixes the tooth inside this alveolus. The elasticity of these ligaments makes this network The connection works to act as a shock absorber, giving the tooth increased reliability over time.
Periodontitis (periodontal disease) primarily affects these fibers, which are destroyed, causing bone resorption (disappearance) around the teeth until they become mobile and can no longer perform their function.
The main reason why these ligaments are destroyed is the infectious attack by microorganisms that grow in the tartar and bacterial plaque present at this level. Often, tartar is covered by swollen gums and masks it, so the only effective way to avoid this problem is descaling and professional hygiene at the doctor once every 6 months at least, accompanied by personal hygiene by brushing, flossing. , supplemented by the use of mouthwash or, more recently, by commercial oral showers.
It should be understood that with age these ligaments, as well as the maxillary bone, suffer a process of degeneration, but in the case of periodontal disease this process is much accelerated, there are hereditary situations, unfortunately very difficult to control, such as juvenile periodontitis.
It is also very important to understand that this condition is not curable, but only controllable, in the sense that doctors can get certain ailments, and mainly can delay the evolution of the disease, but it all depends on when we see a doctor. The later we present, the more difficult it is to treat and control, sometimes even impossible.
What is the treatment for periodontitis?
The treatment consists in removing the tartar and the infected tissues due to its presence and the bacterial plaque. This goal can be achieved by:
- Professional descaling and brushing – removal of scale with ultrasonic devices and bacterial plaque by rotary brushing
- Deep scaling – removal of subgingival tartar
- Subgingival curettage – removal of the subgingival tartar and the infected tissue due to it with the help of the laser.
- Flap surgery – removal of the subgingival tartar and the infected tissue due to it with the help of hand tools after exposing the jaw bone, by removing (taking off) the gum from the affected areas.
After removal of the subgingival tartar and granulation tissue, in some cases, the remaining bone defects (areas of bone loss) can be filled with special substances that have the role of stimulating bone growth (Ex: addition of Bio-Oss).