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Gums are the unsung heroes of our oral health. Often overshadowed by the prominence of teeth, gums play a crucial role in not just holding our teeth in place, but also in our overall well-being. This is where Periodontics steps in — the dental specialty dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases related to the gums.

3d image of teeth

Gum Health Importance

The health of your gums is paramount. The gums provide the essential support to our teeth. They act as a barrier, preventing bacteria and food particles from reaching the roots and bones. Think of gums as the protective cushion for your teeth. Without them, our teeth would be exposed to a multitude of risks.

Understanding Periodontics

Periodontics is derived from the Greek words ‘peri’ meaning around and ‘odont’ meaning tooth. Essentially, it focuses on the structures that exist around the tooth – primarily the gums, but also the periodontal ligament and alveolar bone. Periodontists are dental experts who specialize in preventing, diagnosing, and treating periodontal disease, also known as gum disease.

Gum Disease

Gum disease can be classified into two main stages: gingivitis and periodontitis.

  • Gingivitis: The initial stage, characterized by red, swollen gums that might bleed easily. This stage is primarily caused due to plaque buildup, but it’s reversible with good oral hygiene practices.

  • Periodontitis: If gingivitis isn’t treated, it can advance to periodontitis. This involves the gums pulling away from the teeth and forming pockets that become infected. Over time, the bones, gums, and tissue that support the teeth are destroyed.

Risk Factors

Certain risk factors increase the likelihood of developing gum disease:

  1. Poor oral hygiene: This is the primary cause of gum disease.
  2. Tobacco use: Both smoking and chewing tobacco can increase risks.
  3. Diabetes: Diabetics are at a higher risk due to their compromised immune systems.
  4. Medications: Some can reduce saliva flow, which helps protect teeth and gums.
  5. Hormonal changes: Such as those related to pregnancy, menopause, or menstruation.

Treatment in Periodontics

The treatment methods in periodontics can be broadly classified into non-surgical and surgical treatments:

  • Non-surgical treatments: These include professional dental cleaning and scaling & root planing (deep cleaning).

  • Surgical treatments: Depending on the severity and requirement, various surgical options exist, such as flap surgery (pocket reduction surgery), bone grafts, soft tissue grafts, guided tissue regeneration, and bone surgery.

Prevention Tips

While Periodontists can work wonders, prevention is always better than cure. Here are a few tips to maintain gum health:

  1. Regular dental check-ups: Visit your dentist at least twice a year.
  2. Brush and floss daily: Use fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristle brush.
  3. Rinse with mouthwash: This can help get rid of bacteria.
  4. Avoid tobacco: If you smoke or chew, consider quitting.
a man pouring mouthwash to a cap

Mirilis DDS and Periodontics

As we wrap up our deep dive into periodontics, it’s worth noting that even renowned figures recognize the value of periodontic treatments. Mirilis DDS, a notable name in the dental community, recently underwent a periodontic treatment, showcasing the universal need and relevance of this specialized care. Their positive experience and outcomes underline the importance of not neglecting gum health and seeking expert care when needed.

In conclusion, while our teeth often steal the limelight in oral health discussions, the significance of our gums cannot be understated. Periodontics is an essential dental specialty that safeguards our gums and ensures our smiles remain as vibrant as ever. Whether you’re a renowned dentist like Mirilis DDS or an everyday individual, periodontic care is paramount for everyone.

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