Periodontology deals with the treatment of diseases of the periodontium, the tissue that surrounds and supports the teeth.
One of the most common dental diseases is periodontitis. This inflammatory disease manifests as the formation of periodontal pockets, which we can picture as narrow gaps between the tooth root and the jaw bone. Bacteria adhere to these crevices and cause inflammation, which leads to bone loss and gradual release of the tooth from the dental bed. In the advanced stage, this is reflected in the mobility of the tooth and, in the final stage, it can fall out spontaneously. Periodontitis contributes to the development of a number of systemic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus.
Treatment of periodontitis depends on a cooperation between the patient, the periodontologist, the dental hygienist and the general dentist. Perfect oral hygiene on the part of the patient and regular treatment by a dental hygienist are essential. We check whether the patient is using a proper cleaning method and we remove tartar above and below the gums, which acts as a carrier for bacteria. In mild cases, this may be all the treatment needed. In more severe cases, a periodontologist has to intervene with various surgical methods, which are intended to stop or at least slow down the progression of periodontitis and eliminate any periodontal pockets that have not healed after the previous treatment. In well-defined cases, modern surgical approaches include the use of materials to replenish the missing bones lost during the course of the disease.
Other diseases of the tooth-supporting apparatus include exposure of tooth necks/roots (gingival recession). This non-inflammatory disease depends on many factors. Some of them cannot be influenced as they are genetic, such as the thickness of the gums and the structure of the bone surrounding the root of the tooth. Other factors – such as the level of oral hygiene, smoking, the position of the teeth in the bone, eating habits, stress – can be influenced, however. Treatment of exposed dental necks must be comprehensive in order to achieve the most stable results possible, and this often takes the form of interdisciplinary treatment involving a periodontologist, a general dentist and an orthodontist. It is necessary to keep in mind that a certain exposure of the necks is a natural manifestation of aging, similar to the formation of wrinkles, and although we can often slow them down or "go back a few years", this process cannot be stopped completely.