Periodontics is a dental specialty that focuses on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of periodontitis, commonly referred to as gum disease. Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in North America. It is progressive and leads to loss of bone and subsequently teeth. Gum disease is a serious condition that is often without symptoms. The disease process begins with a buildup of plaque and bacteria leading to gingivitis, a bacterial infection of the gum tissue only. If left untreated, the infection can progress to cause destruction of bone and soft tissue.
The good news is that tooth and bone loss and the complications of periodontal disease are NOT inevitable. The disease can be successfully managed through proper oral hygiene and treatments that aim to restore the health of gums and teeth. Treatments for periodontal disease can include something as simple as deep scaling and root planing, which removes plaque and tartar, to more aggressive treatment such as pocket reduction surgery, tissue regeneration to restore gums and dental implants to replace lost teeth.