In an interview with the Brazilian Odontology Association (ABO) the periodontics specialist José Peixoto Ferrão Jr. talked about diagnosis and treatment. Below are excerpts of that interview:
What are periodontal diseases?
The periodontal disease is infectious and inflammatory with a chronic character and its origin is bacterial. The disease attacks the gingival tissues and the ones that support the teeth, such as the cement, the periodontal ligament and the bone.
How we diagnose them?
Its diagnostics is carried out through the periodontal scan, performed in the whole circumference of the tooth with an instrument called millimeter probe.
The scan may reveal gingival bleeding (the most common symptom) and/or bone losses, with the formation of periodontal bags. It is important to emphasize: the gum should never bleed!
What are its consequences?
Inflammation, infection and gingival bleeding. In extreme cases, it can lead to teeth loss due to bone loss.
Besides that, the bacteria present in the periodontal bags disseminate into the blood stream. For this reason, this disease is closely related to cardio-vascular and respiratory problems, diabetes, infertility, early term and low weight babies, among others.
How is the treatment performed?
It is essential to provide awareness and orientation to the patient regarding the need of oral hygiene by using the toothbrush and dental floss. The professional can also perform a procedure to remove the dental calculus (tartar) and disinfect the affected area. It is root scraping and smoothing that can be both supra or sub gingival.
In more advanced cases, surgery may be necessary. After the treatment, the patient must commit to his/hers own oral hygiene and return to the dentist’s office according to the schedule determined by the periodontics specialist. During these appointments, the review and maintenance of the condition is performed to avoid the reoccurrence or progression of the disease.