- The gum or gums
- The alveolar or maxillary bone
- The cementum that connects the tooth to the jawbone by anchoring it to the periodontal ligament.
- The periodontal ligament that holds the tooth in place in the jawbone.
A periodontist is a specialist who deals with the disease and treatment of any of these support structures. Some of the conditions and situations treated by a periodontist include the following :
Gingivitis and periodontitis
Gingivitis is the inflammation and infection of the gums. Periodontitis is a more serious form of infection that affects not only the gums, but also the periodontal structures at the base of the teeth. In severe cases, periodontitis can lead to severe toothache and even tooth loss.
Treatment of gingivitis and periodontitis
Gingival and periodontal disease usually occurs as a result of cavities or tooth decay. As bacterial acids create cavities or holes in the hard tooth enamel, the tooth pulp begins to become infected. Dental pulp contains nerves and blood vessels and infectious bacteria can pass through these vessels into the roots of the teeth. This can lead to a serious infection causing tooth abscesses and pain. A periodontist surgeon may need to prescribe antibiotics for such infections using antibiotics or perform surgical procedures such as draining a tooth abscess.
Treatment of conditions related to the use of dental implants.
Maintenance of the health, function and aesthetics of supporting structures. A periodontist may need to replace a lost or damaged tooth, for example.
Periodontal endodontic treatment includes the principles of periodontics and endodontics.