When should you see a periodontologist ?
According to the Association Dentaire Française, the periodontologist treats periodontal diseases (or periodontitis), which are bacterial or microbial infections slowly deteriorating the tooth support tissues, namely gingiva, bone tissue, cementum and periodontal ligament.
Bacteria accumulate at the junction between tooth and gum and cause localized and inflammatory conditions, such as gingivitis, or they infiltrate more, such as periodontitis. Gingivitis and periodontitis are inflammatory diseases affecting the gingiva and bone around the teeth. They are the main causes of tooth loss in adults.
Thus, the periodontist treats people with the following symptoms:
- presence of periodontal pockets (these are important spaces under the gum that damage the connection between the root of the tooth and the gingiva);
- sore gums;
- bleeding gums;
- loose teeth;
- or bad breath.
Note that people with an immune deficiency are more prone to this type of conditions. Other risk factors are recognized to promote the occurrence of periodontal diseases.
- poor hygiene, with for example the presence of dental plaque (small sticky and white coating resulting from the accumulation of bacteria from food and saliva) or tartar (calcification of dental plaque);
- or stress.
What does the periodontologist do?
The role of the periodontologist is to maintain the health, the function but also the aesthetics of the structures surrounding the tooth.
His field of practice includes periodontal plastic surgery and dental implants. The goal is to allow his patients to keep their teeth and smile.
For this, the specialist may have to practice:
- X-rays, to establish the anatomy of the teeth and bone supporting them;
- the placement of dental implants;
- a bone graft (especially for the treatment of periodontitis);
- or a gum graft.