Periodontitis which is also known as gum disease is a concerning infection that can damage the soft tissue when it is not treated and also destroy the bone that supports your teeth. Your teeth will be loosened or even lost because of periodontitis.
This is a common but entirely preventable condition and usually begins with poor oral hygiene. Brushing a couple of times every day, flossing and visiting your dentist for regular dental checkups can greatly improve your chances of receiving successful treatment for this condition and may also reduce your chances of developing it again.
Healthy gums fit snugly around the teeth and are pale pink in color but if you are suffering from gum disease you may experience the following symptoms:
Gum disease begins with the plaque which is a sticky film of bacteria. When it is left untreated plaque can advance to periodontitis.
Plaque develops on your teeth when the sugars and starches from the food you have, interact with the bacteria that are present in the mouth. Brushing twice a day and flossing can eliminate bacteria but plaque can form again quickly.
When plaque is allowed to remain on your teeth it can harden into tartar under your gum line. Tartar is more difficult to remove and is populated with bacteria. The longer the combination remains on your teeth to greater damage they can do. Brushing and flossing will not help to get rid of tartar and you need a professional dental cleaning for the removal.
Plaque also causes gingivitis which is the mildest form of gum disease. It is an irritation and inflammation of your gum tissue around the base of your teeth. Gingivitis can easily be reversed with professional treatment and good oral hygiene at home.
Periodontitis is caused by ongoing gum inflammation when pockets begin to develop between your gums and teeth and are populated with bacteria, tartar, and plaque. The pockets become deeper with time filling them with more bacteria. When they are left untreated the deep infections can cause loss of bone and tissue eventually causing you to lose one or more teeth. This chronic inflammation can also affect your immune system.
It would be great if you can maintain your regular dental checkups as recommended by your dentist. If you observe any signs or symptoms of periodontitis you should be making an appointment right away because the sooner you obtain the treatment the better it will be to reverse the damage from this condition. Your dentist may refer you to a periodontist who is a specialist in treating problems with the gums.
Periodontal treatment may be provided by your dentist or even a dental hygienist. The objective of the treatment is to thoroughly clean the pockets on the teeth and prevent any damage from affecting the surrounding bone. If your condition hasn’t advanced less invasive procedures may be used during periodontal treatment. The treatments may include:
Scaling can remove tartar and bacteria from the surfaces of your tooth and below the gums. It is performed either by using dental instruments, ultrasonic devices or lasers.
Root planing smooths the surfaces of the root to discourage the additional buildup of tartar and bacteria and also removes any byproducts of the bacteria that can contribute to inflammation, delay healing, or reattachment of the gum and tooth surfaces.
You may also be provided with topical and oral antibiotics to help control bacterial infections.
If your condition is at an advanced stage you may be recommended flap surgery for effective scaling and root planing. If periodontitis can cause bone loss, periodontal treatment can recontour the underlying bone before the gum tissue is stitched back in place. After you recover from this therapy it will be easier to clean these areas and maintain healthy gum tissue.
Gum disease can be prevented simply by maintaining proper oral hygiene and visiting the dentist for regular checkups. However, if you have let it advance you must undergo the treatment spoken about in this discussion to gain control over the infection.