Understanding Periodontics for the Dental Hygienist

learn Periodontics at dental hygienist schoolEven though teeth usually receive the most focus in the world of dental hygiene, your gums are also an important aspect of dental health and wellness. Periodontics is the study of the health of gums, and ita��s an integral part of the dental hygiene process. For the up and coming dental hygienist, it is absolutely essential to have a good handle on good cleaning practices and the complications that can come along with poor periodontal management. Here are just some of the things you should be aware of in the wide world of periodontics.


As youa��ll learn in dental hygienist school, the world a�?periodontala�? literally means a�?around the tooth,a�? referring to the gum and the surrounding structures of the tooth. The anatomy of the periodontal area includes the periodontal ligament, which is responsible for attaching the tooth to the bone inter-dental bone socket, and the surrounding gum tissue which surrounds the tooth and attaches to the bone.

Proper Periodontal Health

Good gum health can be promoted by regular home care. Understanding and being able to explain to patients how to care for their gums properly is an important part of the job, as preventative care can save a lot of aches and pains down the road. If youa��re going to become a dental hygienist, you should invest a lot of time and care in learning about scaling and root planing, which are essential in helping keep gums healthy and preventing perdiodontitis, or the infection of the gums. Scaling and root planing are methods of cleaning the surfaces of the roots to remove tartar and plaque buildup from periodontal pockets.

For most patients, these at-home cleaning procedures are enough to ward off infections and complications, however for more serious jobs there is the option of heading into the dental hygienista��s office to be laser cleaned, or for much more serious jobs there is a surgical possibility. However, these are far less common and only occur in extreme cases.

Concerns and Chances of Infection

The biggest concern about less than stellar periodontal health is the high chance of a bacterial infection in the gums, known as periodontitis. This can occur because plaque, the leading cause of periodontitis, contains extremely high levels of bacteria a�� up to 600 different types of bacteria can live in plaque, most of which we havena��t even identified.

The biggest concern when it comes to periodontal health is the bleeding of gums. When your gums are bleeding, ita��s far easier for the bacteria contained in plaque to get into the bloodstream, resulting in a host of problems for the body. There is a great deal of research that suggests that chronic gum disease can cause a higher incidence of heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, complications in pregnancy and much more. As we continue to study the effects of periodontitis on the body one thing remains clear – a healthy mouth means a healthy body. Becoming an intra oral dental assistant is a great way to promote general wellbeing.

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