Periodontitis is a severe case of gum infection in which there is inflammation around the affected tooth. The infection destroys the bone supporting the tooth and soft tissues of the gum. Poor dental hygiene is the leading cause of Periodontitis.
How is Periodontitis Caused?
Our mouth is regularly exposed to plaque-forming bacteria which initiates the process of Periodontitis. Here is how the disease progresses through the different stages to take root in our bodies;
- Development of plaque formation (a pale yellowish bio film) by the bacteria on the teeth.
- Flossing and brushing may remove the yellowish deposits but it reforms within a day.
- Plaque eventually hardens on the gum line into tartar which requires a dental professional to get rid of.
- The plaque and tartar on the teeth then causes another periodontal disease called gingivitis in which they inflame the gums.
- Untreated gingivitis, if left untreated, may lead to Periodontitis.
What are the Consequences of Periodontitis?
The infection affects the periodontium, the soft tissues around the gum. Consequently, the alveolar bone that supports the teeth is slowly and gradually lost, causing the gum and the bone start to retract from the teeth which creates empty crevices. This makes the teeth vulnerable to debris accumulation. Invisible microorganisms cling to the space created and multiply in numbers, worsening the inflammation. If Periodontitis is not treated in a timely manner, chances of a stroke or a heart attack increase.
The Signs and Symptoms of Periodontitis
- Recurring severe inflammation of the gums
- Reddish or purplish gums
- Gums ache and withdraw making the teeth look elongated
- Pus formation and gum bleeding when brushing or flossing
- Space creation between teeth
- Metallic taste in the oral cavity
- Bad breath
- Loose teeth
The Risk Factors
There are several conditions that make people prone to Periodontitis. Type 2 diabetes and obesity increase the risk of getting the disease. Chain smokers develop gum problems like Periodontitis more easily and to make things worse, the treatments are less efficient in such people. Genetics, hormonal changes, AIDS and cancer are also risk factors of Periodontitis.
Periodontitis is treatable. The primary objective is to clean the pockets created by the infection and stop further damage to the bone. The non-surgical treatments involve taking antibiotics, scaling and root planning. However, if you have reached an advanced level of Periodontitis, you will have to undergo surgical treatments. In such situations, oral medications and good dental hygiene are insufficient. Bone grafting is done if the bone around the root of the tooth is destroyed. Tissue regeneration procedure for the re-growth of the damaged tissues and tissue grafts are done when the gum line has receded.
Periodontitis is a preventable infection and you can reduce your chances of suffering from it by following better oral hygiene and visiting your dentist regularly for checkups. Village Park Family Dental treats all sorts of gum diseases with exceptional care. Since the disease is linked with cardiac problems and diabetes, it is essential that you understand the gravity of the situation and get a professional dental service promptly.