Periodontal diseases are those affecting the tissues that surround and support the teeth causing two major pathological processes:
, which is an inflammation of the gum tissue, being the mildest form of a periodontal disease. It is a process which is recognised clinically by bleeding gums, and is reversible with good oral hygiene to remove the plaque.
If gingivitis is not controlled, it will develop over time into periodontitis
, which is considered to be an irreversible condition, recognised by an increase in tooth mobility due to losing bone structure that supports the tooth. Initially periodontitis is treated by scaling and root planing. In more advanced cases, periodontal surgery is necessary.
Periodontal disease is not caused by just one factor, but rather by many contributing factors such as: genetic predisposition, age, stress, medication, tobacco, nutrition, immunosuppresion, pregnancy, as well as more local factors including dental crowding, occlusal trauma, and an accumulation of bacterial plaque.
From an aesthetic point of view, a dentist specialising in periodontics can also provide solutions to improve the smile by performing mucogingival surgery treatments to correct morphological defects of the gum like gingival hyperplasia and receding gums, or to achieve a more aesthetic tooth by crown lengthening.