DEPARTMENT OF PERIODONTICS
Periodontics deals with the health of all the supporting structures of the tooth. The teeth are firmly placed in the bone with various supporting structures. Outside we see a pinkish firmly attached epithelial tissue which we normally call as gingival tissue. This tissue is firmly attached to the tooth and to the bone. A healthy tissue will look pinkish and with small stipules present on surface. The tooth is supported by other structure like periodontal ligament (fibres), cemetum and bone. All these should be healthy to give the best oral health status. Together all the structures are called as Periodontium.
Theses tissues become unhealthy due to various local and systemic causes. External deposits on to the gingiva such as food debris, dental plaque and micro organisms will cause local irritations and initiates various local gingival diseases. When dental plaque is calcified it is called as dental calculus. This may be supra gingival (above gingiva) or sub gingival in nature. All the said deposits will cause rupture of blood vessels, infects the area and will cause bleeding and sometimes may cause pus discharge. This may be up to gingival level in initial stages but in advanced cases, it may involve all the above supporting structures including bone. If it is neglected the tooth may become mobile and fall as it losses all its supporting structures.
The development of periodontal can also be attributed to other causes like presence of sharp dentures, maloccluded teeth, local injury, hereditary factors, usage of certain metallic drugs and other systemic factors like leukemia etc. In some other psychological conditions like pregnancy, puberty periods etc there might be enlarged gingiva due to imbalances created by various endocrines. In mal-nutrition cases different types of periodontal tissue problems can be seen. For example, Vitamin C deficiency causes ‘SCURVY’ with bleeding gums. Various psycho-social factors can also initiate periodontal diseases. Improper oral health care is another common reason. Routine periodontal diseases are acute/chronic gingivitis, acute/chronic periodontitis, bone recession and supporting bone destruction etc. proper attention and care in correct time at the hands of specialist will avoid a lot of future problems.
VARIOUS TREATMENTS AVAILABLE
- Oral Prophylaxis (scaling/root cleaning)- in this procedure, all the calcified and non calcified material which have been deposited on to the tooth surface/ bone surface/ root surface are thoroughly cleaned with special scaling instruments by use of ultra sonic scalers. The process is painless and the specialist does the treatment in one or two sittings depending on the case. Later, the operated becomes healthy and normal. It has been estimated that at least 75-80% of the population do need periodontal treatment. Periodontal problems usually increase with advancement of age.
- Various surgical treatments like flap surgery/ gingivoplasty/ gingivectomy are done in needed cases. These are the different procedures in which the gingival and periodontal tissue is trimmed/ surgically removed to improve the health. Specialists will decide the course of the treatment. In needed cases, they will do bone grafting also.
- To improve the aesthetic look and to add to a smiling face , some cosmetic treatments are carried out like crown lengthening/ tissue graft/ gingival trimming. In these days of modeling and fashion, these cosmetic treatments are becoming very popular.
PREVENTION AND CARE
- Regular oral health check-up is essential to maintain good and healthy teeth
- Regular brushing twice (morning & night) will help in minimizing the various deposits
- Regular rinsing of the mouth with plain water or antiseptic mouth wash after every intake of food will help in keeping away the micro organisms.
- Intake of more fibrous food will help in maintenance of periodontal tissue
- Regular usage of inter dental cleansing agents like dental floss, inter dental cleaning brush etc are beneficial
- Corrections of mal occlusion/ avoiding any mechanical local irritants are necessary.
In total, we can say that periodontal health is utmost important and if timely care is taken, it uplifts the oral health to high standards.