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Periodontics is a field of dentistry dealing with prevention and treatment of illnesses of periontium and mucous membranes of the oral cavity.

Periontium (tissues surrounding a tooth) is responsible for immobilization and fixation of a tooth in a tooth socket. If there is inflammation, the tissues get damaged, which may cause teeth to fall out. Symptoms of periodontitis are baring of tooth roots and gum inflammation, and untreated it can lead to bleeding from the gums, pain, and in consequence tooth loss. It is usually caused by improper hygiene (bacterial presence, tartar buildup), and can also be caused by other diseases (e.g. diabetes, hormonal imbalance, saliva secretion disturbance) or lifestyle (alcohol abuse, improper diet, vitamin deficiency, smoking). Sometimes the periontium diseases can be genetic or caused by improper prosthodontic restorations (e.g. dentures) or faulty fillings. It can be worsened by bruxism (teeth grinding) by weakening the jaw bone and the gums.

Maintaining proper hygiene is one of the simplest methods of periodontitis prevention. Using a soft or medium-hard brush, flossing and rinsing with oral rinses (containing e.g. chlorhexidine) can help eliminate bacteria which is one of the main causes of the illness. In case of an ill periontium it is recommended to use a brush for the interdental spaces. A procedure of removal of tartar is scaling, supragingival and subgingival (curettage – cleaning the surface of the tooth root), conducted in a dental clinic after a consultation with a dentist.

Treatment of periontium illness in the early phases of periodontitis is done by scaling (removal of tartar) and teaching proper hygiene. If the periontium illness is caused by an improper prosthodontic restoration, the treatment is done by removal of the irritating factors, e.g. old restorations or prosthetics. In more advanced stadium, when teeth lose their stability, they can be braced (connected into one with a wire). Sometimes a gum transplant, or a bone regeneration is necessary as well.

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