It is a part of dentistry that studies the tissue around the tooth and the diseases related to it. Periodontics concerns all soft tissues (periodontal ligament and gum) and hard tissues (cement and alveolar bone) that surround the tooth and ensure, when healthy, its stability in the alveolar arch.
The disease that affects the periodontium is generically called periodontitis. The so feared and overestimated pyorrhea, which includes the leakage of pus from the gum, is much less common than might be thought.
Non-surgical periodontal therapy
The recent therapeutic directions of the American Academy of Periodontology for initial periodontitis are in favour of a non-invasive treatment, and therefore non-surgical, which consists of an accurate oral hygiene with ultrasounds (to remove the supragingival calculus), followed by the smoothing of the root, which is performed manually with special instruments called curettes (scaling and root planing); the curettes remove tartar and bacterial toxins from the root surface.
Regenerative periodontal surgery
The regenerative techniques allow to regenerate the bone tissue, lost because of the periodontal disease, using membranes, biomaterials or chemical substances that facilitate the formation of new bone tissue. With these procedures and in appropriately selected situations, it is possible to achieve the restoration of the bone as it was before the disease.
It is a technique that allows to reshape the alveolar bone around the teeth, removing all bone irregularities which cause alterations of the gingival morphology, (commonly known as periodontal pockets) because of the proliferation of bacteria and periodontal inflammation. Resection can permanently remove the periodontal pockets that are too deep to be normally reached with non-surgical techniques. The elimination of abnormal bone and gingival tissue, together with hygiene at home and routine professional controls, prevent the inflammatory state and the subsequent resorption of tissues, protecting the stability of teeth. Anyway, this procedure isn’t used very often anymore, especially for its consequent imperfections (teeth look much “longer”).
Mucus – gingival surgery
The retraction of the gingival tissue gradually exposes the roots of the teeth, increasing the sensitivity and susceptibility to root caries. To restore normal mucus-gingival functions it is necessary to reconstruct the gingival tissue through surgical procedures that restore health and dental stability with important aesthetic results, even though many times the extraction of connective tissue from the palate isn’t a very pleasant procedure for the patient.
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