Periodontics is the area of dental specialty that concentrates on the supporting tissues of the teeth, known as periodontium. These tissues include your gums, the bone of your jaws surrounding the roots of your teeth and also the specialised ligaments that attach your teeth to this bone.
Periodontics is important because these foundations of your teeth are an absolutely integral part of your overall oral health. Increasingly, evidence is mounting of possible links between disease of your periodontium and serious systemic illnesses such as heart disease.
The evolution of periodontics
In the same manner as other areas of dentistry, periodontics is rapidly evolving as research into the causes of gum diseases, new treatments and novel techniques all contribute to our knowledge. There is a lot of exciting research in periodontics centring on the many periodontal diseases that can lead to a loss of attachment between teeth and the bone of the jaws. One of the most keenly sought solutions is to allow this attachment to reform so that the effects of gum disease can be reversed. Progress is being made in this area of periodontics all the time.
Research is also focused on whether there is a genetic susceptibility to periodontal diseases. It appears that this could be the case, with approximately 10% of the population having an increased risk of having periodontitis of some type as well as a genetic history of periodontal disease.