Periodontology is the field of science that studies the periodontal tissues, (alveolar bone, gingiva, cementum, periodontal membrane) their diseases and treatment options. The specialist doctors focused on the studies are called periodontologists.
What does healthy periodontium look like?
Healthy gingiva is light pink, pale. It ends knife edge to the tooth and shows orange peel-like surface when looked with naked-eye. It surrounds the tooth with a gingival sulcus. When gingival inflammation is present, the gingival sulcus becomes deep and contains a pocket; important for the periodontologist to diagnose and treat. Healthy gingiva does not bleed with brushing or any other contact.
What does inflamed periodontium look like?
The main reason of gingival inflammation is the microbial dental plaque. This plaque is formed by bacteria and is a sticky yellowish layer on the teeth. Routine oral hygiene procedures (tooth brushing, flossing and dental appointments) remove the plaque and prevent gingival diseases but if they are not done frequently, the gingiva becomes red, swollen, prone to bleeding and sometimes painful.
What is dental tartar?
If formerly mentioned microbial dental plaque is not removed frequently enough, combined with the minerals from saliva, it hardens and forms tartar (dental calculus). It can’t be removed by brushing anymore, a dental cleaning appointment with the dentist is mandatory from then on.
If this situation goes on and without observation and treatment, periodontal disease advances to bone and periodontal attachment loss. To sum up, frequent appointments mostly prevent disease, if not maintain control.