Periodontology is a branch of dentistry that aims to diagnose and treat diseases of the tissues surrounding the teeth. The gums and the bone immediately beneath them, which surround the roots of the teeth, are living tissues. The gum can easily become inflamed due to the accumulation of plaque around the teeth. Gum inflammation is characterized by bleeding, redness, swelling, and bad breath. If left untreated, gum inflammation progresses and causes the bone tissue surrounding the roots of the teeth to erode slowly. As a result of the loss of bone beneath the gums, the gums start to recede. Over time, the disease progresses, and the teeth become longer and begin to loosen. Eventually, the teeth are lost due to the loss of surrounding tissues.
Periodontal diseases are preventable and treatable. In treatment, factors causing the disease are first eliminated, the most important of which is dental calculus.
After cleaning dental calculus and a deeper cleaning process called subgingival scaling, advanced treatment called flap surgery can also be performed if deemed necessary.
After periodontal diseases are treated and stopped, it is also important for patients to have regular check-ups every six months, clean any accumulated dental calculus regularly, and maintain good oral hygiene daily to prevent the disease from recurring.
Periodontal treatment includes both surgical and non-surgical procedures. The long-term and healthy continuation of any treatment or application performed in the mouth depends on adhering to the basic principles of periodontology. Healthy teeth alone are not enough. The gums and bone tissue surrounding the teeth must also be healthy. Tooth loss due to gum disease is a common problem even if the teeth are healthy. Regardless of the oral treatment performed, aesthetic prostheses and implants are doomed to fail if the gums are unhealthy. Even the simplest treatment requires healthy gums for successful treatment. Even the simplest filling must be compatible with the gums. Therefore, many restorations have to be replaced every year. The solution is to perform gum treatments before any treatment. Proper treatments on healthy gums can be used for many years without any problems.
Periodontal treatment is not just a preventive treatment for diseases. Periodontal treatment may also be necessary for gum aesthetics, especially before prosthetic applications. Adjustments are made to prepare the hard and soft tissues around the teeth before prostheses. Levels of excessive visible gum are corrected, color matches are organized, crown lengthening procedures are performed to increase the retention of crown-bridge restorations, exposed root surfaces can be covered, and compatible soft tissue support and transitions can be provided in aesthetic dentistry applications.
Periodontal treatment is not only a treatment that helps prevent diseases. Especially, periodontal treatment may be necessary for gum aesthetics before prosthesis applications. It makes arrangements for the preparation of hard and soft tissues around the teeth before prostheses. The levels of gum that appear excessive are corrected, color harmony is organized, crown lengthening procedures are performed to increase the adhesion of crown-bridge restorations, exposed root surfaces can be covered, and compatible soft tissue support and transition are provided in aesthetic dentistry applications.
Since the symptoms of gum diseases are not very noticeable, they are not noticed by most people in time. These diseases usually progress painlessly and are identified after a certain stage with gum bleeding. Gum bleeding is the most important sign of gum disease and should never be ignored. Since it is difficult to notice gum disease, the disease usually advances by the time the patient comes to the doctor. Since periodontal diseases generally progress slowly and the actual damage appears when teeth begin to loosen over the years, patients who do not have regular dental checkups are generally encountered with advanced bone loss when they come for treatment. However, some people have a type of gum disease that progresses very quickly, and unfortunately, these people lose all their teeth at a very young age.
We can list the symptoms of gum disease as follows:
1- The gums bleed spontaneously or during brushing
2- The gums look red, slightly swollen, and irregular
3- The gums recede, and the exposed root surfaces become sensitive to cold and heat
4- Black tooth stones form where the gums meet the teeth
5- There is an itching sensation in the gums
6- In more advanced cases, there is a feeling of weakness and looseness in the teeth due to bone loss
7- The teeth lengthen, move away from each other, and gaps occur between the teeth
The best way to protect against gum disease is to visit a dentist every 6 months. In this way, regular tartar cleaning is done, and the formation of gum disease is prevented from the beginning.
If gum disease has started, it must be treated as soon as possible. The treatment of gum disease is not just a treatment that is made using medication; it is a treatment that must be performed by a dentist.
The first stage of periodontal treatment is the cleaning of tartar. After this cleaning, the cleaning of the tartar and inflamed gums that form under the gum comes in the second stage. This process is called subgingival curettage. Subgingival curettage is a deep cleaning performed with local anesthesia. It is done in the whole mouth at once or in two sessions. It is a painless and easy process, and there is no pain or discomfort after the procedure. It is essential to follow the recommendations your dentist gives you and perform oral care as described to continue the treatment. If you do not do the necessary care after the treatment, the disease will recur very quickly, so it is necessary to be very careful about this.
After subgingival curettage, it takes 15-20 days for the gums to recover.
If the gums do not heal after curettage and the disease persists, flap surgery, another treatment option, is performed. Flap surgery is the opening of the gums under local anesthesia to clean the surface of the infected tissues and the root of the tooth. After this procedure, the healing time for the gums is three weeks. Usually, after this procedure, the gums recover depending on the patient’s care, but if there is no improvement even after this operation, then teeth may need to be extracted. In some cases, flap surgery needs to be performed directly without curettage. This procedure is applied in more advanced gum disease cases where curettage is unlikely to work. After flap surgery, the patient should still follow the rules and come to regular check-ups as explained by their dentist. It should be remembered that gum disease is not a type of illness that can be cured in one go.