PERIODONTITIS: It is a serious gum infection. The periodontium are the tissues around a tooth, tissues that support the tooth. Microorganisms, such as bacteria, stick to the surface of the tooth and multiply. REASON FOR PERIODONTITIS: Bacterial plaque, a sticky, colorless membrane that develops over the surface of teeth, is the most common cause of periodontal disease. Brushing teeth gets rid of plaque, but it soon builds up; within a day or so.If it is not removed, within two or three days it hardens into tartar. Tartar is much harder to remove than plaque. Another name for tartar is calculus. Getting rid of tartar requires a professional - you cannot do it yourself. Plaque can gradually and progressively damage teeth and surrounding tissue. At first, the patient may develop gingivitis - inflammation of the gum around the base of the teeth. Persistent gingivitis can result in pockets developing between the teeth and gums. These pockets fill up with bacteria. Bacterial toxins and our immune system's response to infection start destroying the bone and connective tissue that hold teeth in place. Eventually the teeth start becoming loose, and can even fall out. Risk factors:▪ Smoking▪ Hormonal changes in females - puberty, pregnancy, and the menopause are moments in life when a female's hormones undergo changes. Such changes raise the risk of developing gum diseases.▪ Diabetes & Obesity▪ AIDS - people with AIDS have more gum diseases▪ Genetics - some people are more genetically susceptible to gum diseases. SIDE EFFECTS ▪ Inflamed (swollen) gums, gum swelling recurs▪ Gums are bright red, sometimes purple▪ Gums hurt when touched▪ Gums recede, making teeth look longer▪ Extra spaces appear between the teeth▪ Pus may appear between the teeth and gums▪ Bleeding when brushing teeth▪ Bleeding when flossing▪ Metallic taste in the mouth▪ Halitosis (bad breath)▪ Loose teeth The most common complication from periodontitis is the loss of teeth. However, patients with periodontitis are also at a higher risk of having respiratory problems, stroke, coronary artery disease, and low birth weight babies. Pregnant women with bacterial infections that cause moderate-to-severe periodontal disease have a higher risk of having a premature baby. Periodontitis can make it harder for patients with diabetes to control blood sugar. PERIODONTITIS IS THE REASON FOR HEART DISEASE: Untreated periodontitis will eventually result in tooth loss, and may increase the risk of stroke, heart attack and other health problems. TREATMENT:In dentistry, periodontics deals with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases involving the gums and structures which support teeth. Initial treatment It is important to remove plaque and calculus (tartar) to restore periodontal health. The healthcare professional will use clean (non-surgically) below the gumline. This procedure is called scaling and debridement. Sometimes an ultrasonic device may be used. In the past Root Planing was used (the cemental layer was removed, as well as calculus). Medications▪ Prescription antimicrobial mouth-rinse Advanced periodontitis If good oral hygiene and non-surgical treatments are not enough, the following surgical interventions may be required:▪ Flap surgery - the healthcare professional performs flap surgery to remove calculus in deep pockets, or to reduce the pocket so that keeping it clean is easier. ▪ Bone and tissue grafts - this procedure helps regenerate bone or gum tissue that has been destroyed. With bone grafting, new natural or synthetic bone is placed where bone was lost, promoting bone growth. ▪ In a procedure called guided tissue regeneration, a small piece of mesh-like material is inserted between the gum tissue and bone. This stops the gum from growing into bone space, giving the bone and connective tissue a chance to regrow.▪ ▪ The dentist may also use special proteins (growth factors) that help the body regrow bone naturally. ▪ The dental professional may suggest a soft tissue graft - tissue taken from another part of the mouth, or synthetic material is used to cover exposed tooth roots.It is not possible to predict how successful these procedures are - each case is different. Treatment results also depend on how advanced the disease is, how well the patient adheres to a good oral hygiene program, as well as other factors, such as smoking status. PREVENTION It is mandatory, to have a professional oral prophylaxis procedure by a specialist once in 6 months.Healthy habits and good oral hygiene are critical in preventing gum disease. Regular and effective tooth brushing and mouth washing, however, are effective only above and slightly below the gum line. Once periodontal disease develops, more intensive treatments are needed.