Periodontal Treatments and Procedures
What is periodontal disease?
If your gums become infected with bacteria and that infection spreads, it can destroy your teeth. The structures that support the teeth’s connection to the jawbone deteriorate to the point where your loosened teeth must be extracted.
The supporting structures affected by periodontal disease include the gums, cementum that covers the root, the alveolar bone, and periodontal ligament. In the earliest stages of the disease, only your gums are affected. As the disease goes untreated, it can affect all of these structures.
What are other effects of periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease doesn’t just affect your teeth. It may also play a role in aggravating health conditions in the rest of your body. These include:
- Heart disease and stroke
- Respiratory disease
- Premature births
What are the symptoms of periodontal disease?
Don’t miss the signs of gum disease:
- Red, swollen, or inflamed gums
- Bleeding when you floss or brush
- Gums that are receding or pulling away from teeth
- Change in bite
- Loose teeth
- Mouth sores
- Chronic bad breath or a metallic taste in mouth
Why do I have periodontal disease?
The dental plaque that forms on your teeth carry bacteria. If your at-home dental hygiene habits fail to get rid of this bacteria, it can irritate your gums and lead to infection.
Bleeding while brushing or flossing or swollen gums indicates you have gingivitis, the earliest stage of periodontal disease. It’s imperative that you amp up your oral hygiene care and visit Dr. Bidget Espagnol for a thorough cleaning if you experience those symptoms.
How is periodontal disease treated?
Dr. Nguyen treats periodontal disease by getting at the infection that’s crept underneath the gum line. If caught early enough, he can reverse it. Once bacteria has reached this point, even good at-home oral hygiene practices can’t reach it.
If you have advanced periodontitis, they use a state-of-the-art laser made by Biolase to reach plaque and bacteria below the gum line. It’s a minimally invasive way to remove inflamed tissue and plaque deposits while preparing the pocket and surface of the tooth for healing.
Periodontitis is a dangerous disease and periodontal infection spreads rapidly, which is why you need to take action the moment you notice any of the gum disease symptoms mentioned earlier. If your gum disease has progressed to periodontitis, it’s already a clear indication that you didn’t consult a dentist when you first noticed the signs of gingivitis. However, you can still consult a dentist and save your teeth from complete decay.
The periodontal treatment begins with a thorough clinical examination. The dental hygienist first examines your teeth and gums in order to detect the signs of gum disease. Periodontitis is that stage of gum disease in which the bones underneath your gums start rotting and decaying. The dentist needs to run x-ray scans in order to detect exactly how far the damage has spread into your bones and teeth. The x-ray will also help doctors detect how wide the pockets between your gums and your teeth are.
When the periodontal treatment first begins, the dental hygienist cleans out the gum pockets in order to stop periodontal infection from spreading any further. If periodontal disease hasn’t progressed too far into the bones, the teeth can still be saved using minimally invasive procedures like scaling and root planing.
Scaling is a simple procedure in which the doctor uses a scalar tool to scrape off all the accumulated plaque and tartar from the teeth and the gum line. Root planing is a procedure in which the dentist cleans the root of the infected tooth in order to reattach it to the receding gum line. This eliminates the risk of further periodontal infection and also closes the teeth-gum gap caused by the bacteria.
However, if your periodontal disease has spread considerably, then the aforementioned procedures will be rendered useless. In that case, you’ll need to opt for corrective surgical periodontitis treatment. This, however, is a last-resort scenario and should only be tried if it’s too late for non-invasive periodontitis treatment. That’s primarily why it’s so important to consular a doctor the moment you first notice the initial warning signs of gum disease.
Consequences of Periodontal Disease
Periodontitis is an extremely risky and dangerous gum disease and it can lead to numerous complications if you don’t treat it in time or if you resist periodontal treatment.
First, the periodontal infection will spread into your gums and bones, leading to complete loss of teeth and decay. In fact, this can progress so far that you have to opt for complex surgical treatments like root canal treatment or complete dental extraction.
In fact, periodontal infection and bacteria can also spread into your bloodstream, which can put you at risk of other diseases related to the heart, lungs, etc. This may also lead to diseases like coronary artery disease, arthritis, etc. As such, it’s crucial to treat periodontal disease as fast as possible.
How to Prevent Periodontitis?
Periodontitis can be prevented completely, but only if you’re careful and follow all of the following good oral hygiene tips:
- Brush your teeth twice a day using a dentist-recommended toothpaste.
- Floss your teeth regularly to remove all particles of food stuck between your teeth.
- Rinse your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash regularly.
- Visit the dentist for a deep cleaning appointment every 3 to 6 months in order to remove all accumulated plaque and tartar.
- Don’t eat too many chocolates and sweets as they attract bacteria and lead to periodontal infection.
- Stop smoking.
- Visit the dentist as soon as you see any signs of gum disease.
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