Periodontitis, or gum disease is a form of infection that damages the supporting bones and soft tissues that surrounds the teeth. The disease usually occur when bacteria and plaque build up around the tooth and gums line. Without treatment, periodontal disease can actually progress damaging the gum tissues and the bone around the teeth. Eventually, an advanced periodontal disease, result in tooth loss and may even increase the risk of stroke, heart diseases, respiratory diseases and other serious health problems.
Periodontal disease is a progressive infection. The first stage is known as gingivitis, excessive accumulation of bacterial plaque on the teeth and along the gum lines are the common cause of gingivitis. Although at this stage, the symptoms may be very mild without pain. Inflammation around the gums, red and swollen gums, frequent gums bleeding during tooth brushing, are all signs of gingivitis. At this point, the condition can still be reversed with daily brushing and flossing plus a professional dental cleaning.
However, when left untreated, gingivitis can progress into a more serious condition known as periodontitis. Periodontitis being the more advanced form of periodontal disease, affects both the gums and the bone structures supporting the teeth. Advanced periodontitis is among the major cause of tooth loss in adults. At this stage, the infection spreads rapidly, damaging the bone and teeth supporting tissues, your teeth may eventually become loose and fall out.
Fortunately, you don’t have to loose your teeth due to advanced periodontal disease. There are lots of successful treatment options to choose from when it comes to periodontal disease treatment.
Periodontal disease treatment
Your personal health condition and the stage of your gum disease, will determine the right course of treatment that you will need. Before the treatment, the periodontist, dentist or dental hygienist will review your medical history to identify any factors that could be contributing to your symptoms. He may also need to take dental X-rays to check for bone loss around the affected area.
If the disease is still at the early stage, the dentist will need to clean out bacteria from the pockets around the teeth and prevent further destruction of bone and tissue. Well, periodontal disease treatment is divided into two – Surgical treatments and Nonsurgical treatments.
- Scaling: this treatment is done to clean out bacteria and tartar from the teeth surface and pockets around the teeth. A dentist, periodontist or dental hygienist provides this treatment using hand tools or an ultrasonic device that breaks up and remove the plaque and tartar off your teeth and root surfaces.
- Root planing: Root planing is done to smoothen away any rough areas on the roots of the teeth to prevent bacteria from gathering again. During the root planing procedure, the dentist will remove all the bacterial byproducts that contribute to inflammation. The process encourages the gums to heal and reattach themselves to the healthy, cleaned tooth surfaces.
- Antibiotics: after the root planing procedure, antibiotic are placed into the cleaned pockets. Antibiotics helps to control bacteria and shrink periodontal pockets. The treatment may be necessary to completely eliminate the bacteria that are responsible for the infection.
Within a few weeks after the nonsurgical treatments, your dentist will evaluate your healing and decide if further treatment is necessary. If it turns out that brushing and nonsurgical treatments are not working, surgical intervention may be needed.
Flap surgery (pocket reduction surgery)
Flap surgery is usually recommended if the gum tissue did not fit snugly around the tooth after scaling and root planing. During the surgery, the dentist makes tiny incisions in your gum so that a section of gum tissue can be lifted back, exposing the roots for more effective cleaning. By folding back the gum tissue, the dentist can remove infectious bacteria and smoothen the areas of damaged bone. After the surgery the gums are then sutured back into place, allowing the gum tissue to reattach to healthy bone.
Gum grafts is performed to cover the teeth roots that were exposed due to gum recession. During the procedure, small amounts of tissues are taken from the roof of your mouth (palate) or from another source and used to cover the affected roots. The covering helps to stop further gum recession and bone loss. It also reduce sensitivity and protects your roots from decay.
Bone grafting is a regenerative treatment that promotes the regrowth of bone in an area where bone has been destroyed by periodontal disease. The main aim of the treatment is to regenerate tissue and repair defects that have resulted from periodontitis. During the treatment, the dentist or periodontist will place new natural or synthetic bone where the bone was lost, along with tissue-stimulating proteins to help your body regrow bone naturally.
Guided tissue regeneration
In this surgical procedure, the dentist uses barrier membranes to direct growth of new bone and gum tissue at sites where bone and gums were destroyed by periodontitis. A small piece of biocompatible material is inserted between your existing gum tissue and bone. The aim of this treatment is to stops the gum from growing into bone space, giving the bone and connective tissue a chance to regrow.
Home remedies for periodontal disease
This are effective remedies to stop or prevent gingivitis from progressing into a more serious condition called periodontitis. You can try these measures to reduce bacteria and also prevent periodontitis:
- Try as much as possible to avoid bacteria and plaque buildups on your teeth and along the gum lines. Brush your teeth with a suitable toothbrush and toothpaste for at least twice every day, including after every meal or snack.
- Brush only with soft toothbrush to avoid irritating the gum tissues.
- Use suitable mouth rinse every day to reduce plaque between your teeth. Flossing helps to clean in between the teeth and spaces where toothbrush cannot reach.
- Take extra care when brushing if your teeth are crooked. An electric toothbrush may be more effective at removing plaque and tartar from crooked teeth.
- Ensure to use soft toothbrush and also replace them at least every three to four months.
- Avoid smoking and tobacco use
- Go for regular professional dental cleanings at your dentist office, at least twice a year.
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