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Periodontology (Periodontics) and gum care


 1. What is periodontics or periodontology?

From the Greek word paro- meaning "around" and -ondonte meaning "tooth", periodontics or periodontology is the specialty of dentistry which is concerned with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the periodontium, that is to say, supporting and supporting tissues of the tooth.These tissues are the gum, the bone tissue (alveolar bone of the jaw), the cementum of the dental root and the alveelo-dental ligament.

2. When to consult a periodontist?

A periodontist should be consulted when you have a gum problem such as swelling, gum recession, bleeding or abnormal sensitivity. 

There are certain symptoms that can identify periodontal problems:

  • Bleeding gums when brushing, flossing or eating

  • Red or inflamed gums,

  • Bad breath or a persistent bad taste in the mouth 

  • Abscess formation

  • Tooth loosening or gum recession

  • Loose teeth... to the point of tooth loss

Often these symptoms are linked to bacteria that accumulate at the junction between the tooth and the gum, causing localised and inflammatory conditions: this is gingivitis. When the bacteria infiltrate further, potentially affecting all the tissues supporting the tooth, this is periodontitis, characterised by loosening, mobility or even the loss of one or more teeth.

3. What does the periodontist do?

The role of the periodontist is to maintain the health, the function but also the aesthetics of the structures surrounding the tooth. The periodontist or periodontologist treats bacterial or microbial infections that damage the supporting tissues of the tooth. These diseases are the main causes of tooth loss in adults.

During the diagnostic phase, the periodontist will carefully examine the gums, the general condition of the teeth and the jawbone. Using X-rays and 3D images made with a Cone beam, he will establish the anatomy of the teeth, the bone supporting them and all the surrounding tissues.

In the case of a diagnosis of periodontal disease, the specialist will use surgical and non-surgical options to treat the underlying infection, stop soft tissue recession, and restructure or replace missing teeth.

4. What are the common periodontal pathologies and acts?

The principal affections of the gums are:

  • periodontal disease, for which there are two stages of development:

    • gingivitis,

    • periodontitis,

  • and other pathologies often linked with gum disease

    • gingival recession,

    • periodontal abscess, an infection localized in the periodontal tissues (gum and alveolar bone),

    • oral thrush with the appearance of white spots on the mucous membranes of the cheek or tongue.

The main acts related to periodontal diseases are:

5. Why do gums bleed?

The most common causes of bleeding gums are

  • a too aggressive brushing of the teeth (too aggressive movements and/or toothbrush badly adapted - too hard),

  • a periodontal disease such as gingivitis or its extension, periodontitis linked to the accumulation of dental plaque at the gum level,

  • improper flossing,

  • poorly fitting dentures or braces

  • hormonal imbalance, especially in pregnant women (pregnancy gingivitis)

  • when you stop smoking; in fact, with the cessation of nicotine, which narrows the blood vessels, the gums are once again well irrigated; they remain fragile and swollen for a few weeks to a few months.


In rare cases, bleeding can also be due to 

  • general illnesses such as diabetes or a vitamin C deficiency,

  • taking certain medications such as anticoagulants, immunosuppressants


6. How to prevent bleeding gums?

As mentioned above, the main cause of dental bleeding is related to your oral hygiene. Here are some tips to keep your mouth and gums healthy:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day for 3 minutes with a toothbrush (ideally electric) with appropriate bristles (soft enough). Replace your toothbrush regularly (about every 3 months).

  • Use an adapted toothpaste, with fluoride (fluorides attack the bacteria of the dental plaque)

  • Use dental floss or interdental brushes to remove trapped dental food and disrupt plaque in hard-to-reach areas with a toothbrush 

  • Check with your dentist to make sure your dentures or braces are properly positioned and held in place

  • Ensure a balanced diet with the necessary vitamin intake Maintain good eating habits (avoid sugary or acidic foods and drinks) 

See your dentist regularly for a check-up and professional scaling.

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