Everything You Need to Know About Periodontal Disease and its Treatment

Everything You Need to Know About Periodontal Disease and its Treatment

What is Periodontitis?

Periodontitis is the infection of gums which is caused by bacteria that accumulate on the teeth and gums. When the periodontal disease progresses, the bones and teeth can get damaged. However, if the disease is treated earlier and a proper dental hygiene is maintained, the damage can be controlled, explains the dentist near you.

Stages of Gum Disease

The periodontal types can be classified into four categories which are as follows:

  • Gingivitis

Periodontitis begins with gingivitis, which is the primary stage of gum disease. The first sign of gum disease is bleeding, red, and irritated gums. There can also be some discoloration of the teeth. This is the accumulation of plaque on your teeth. Plaque is caused because of the build-up of food particles and bacteria on the teeth.

Bacteria are always present in our mouth, but the condition worsens when their level increases. Lack of brushing and flossing can lead to gingivitis. It is to be noted that, gingivitis is curable as well as reversible. Thus, if the gum disease gets diagnosed in this stage, it can be completely reversed with the help of Periodontal treatments.

  • Early Periodontal Disease

During the early phase, the gums recede or pull away from your teeth and small pockets are formed between the teeth and gums. These pockets become the storehouse of harmful bacteria and your immune system tries to fight back the infection. Eventually, the gum tissue begins to recede. You are likely to experience bleeding while brushing and flossing along with some bone loss.

Moderate Periodontal Disease

If the disease is left untreated, it will progress and lead to bleeding and pain around the teeth along with gum recession, says the dentist near you. The teeth will begin to lose bone support and become loose.

Advanced Periodontal Disease

In the advanced disease, the connective tissues holding your teeth in place begin to deteriorate. Also, the gums, bones, and other tissues supporting the teeth get destroyed. In the case of periodontitis, you will experience severe pain while chewing along with bad taste in mouth and halitosis. If you have been avoiding the treatment for a long time, it is time to get the periodontal (gum) treatments by seeing a dentist near you.

Symptoms of Periodontitis

  • Bad breath
  • Gums which bleed while brushing and flossing
  • Changes in the position of teeth/ loose teeth
  • Receding gums
  • Tooth loss
  • Red, tender, and swollen gums
  • Foul taste in the mouth
  • Buildup of plaque
  • Pain while chewing
  • Inflammation throughout the body

If you notice one or more of these symptoms, it is time for you to see the dentist near you for a periodontal treatment plan.

Periodontal treatment phases

  • Oral Hygiene Measures

The dentist will instruct you to brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and use an electric brush for effective results. Flossing at least once a day is important. You must make it a point to see the dentist in every 6 months for cleaning and examination. Smoking and chewing tobacco are a big NO.

  • Professional Cleanings

During a professional cleaning, the dentist will remove the plaque build-up and tartar from your teeth and roots followed by polishing your teeth and treating them with fluoride. The periodontal pockets may need a deep cleaning for healing. Scaling and root-planing help in scrapping the tartar and removing rough spots on the tooth root where bacteria get accumulated.

  • Antibiotics

In some cases, the dentist prescribes antibiotics for dealing with persistent gum infections that don’t respond to cleanings. The antibiotic is not always in the form of pills but it can also be in the form of gel and mouthwash as well.

  • Follow-Up Appointments

The dentist will ask for a follow-up appointment after a week or two and then every six months for evaluating your progress. If the pockets are still present, he may recommend surgery.

  • Surgery

If inflammation persists after trying all other types of treatments, the dentist will recommend getting a surgical procedure done known as flap surgery for cleaning the deposits under the gums. The gums are lifted and the roots are cleaned followed by suturing the gums back into the place.

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