Periodontal means ‘around the tooth’ and this disease attacks the gums and the bone that support the teeth.
Four out of five people have periodontal disease (also known as periodontitis and gum disease) and don’t know it! It is usually painless in the early stages. The disease does not only result in tooth loss but lead to major health problems. Research has shown that there is a link between periodontal disease and other diseases such as stroke, bacterial pneumonia, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, as well as increased risk during pregnancy.
But with proper treatment, the progress of the disease can be slowed down or stopped completely.
Periodontal disease occurs when the bacteria that surround the teeth enter the gums. The immediate condition is known as ‘gingivitis’. Even though it begins with little or no symptoms, the gums become irritated, inflamed and often bleed. Without proper treatment, the condition worsens and noticeable symptoms appear. The symptoms include:
All the following conditions need treatment in order to save the bone and gum tissue.
Gingivitis is caused by plaque that irritates the gums. This is the most common form of periodontitis and is the earliest stage of gum disease. The people with a higher risk of developing gingivitis are those with uncontrolled diabetes, steroid users and people taking medication for controlling seizures and blood pressure. Gingivitis can also be linked to hormones so pregnant women, those taking birth control pills or teenagers going through puberty are also at risk.
Treatment of Gingivitis - Thankfully, gingivitis is easily treated. Your dentist at US Dental Care may refer you to either the hygienist or periodontist, depending on the severity of the gum disease. The treatment simply includes cleaning the teeth with a gritty toothpaste using an electric toothbrush and special instruments called scalers. This thorough cleaning is known as “scaling”. Your dentist may use a combination of antibiotics and medicated mouthwashes to kill any remaining bacteria and aid healthy healing.
Chronic Periodontal Disease - This is mainly found in people aged over 45. Your dentist will diagnose this if they find inflammation below the gum line and damage to the bone tissues. It will be clear that your gums are receding.
Treatment of Chronic Periodontal Disease - As this is a more serious condition, it is not possible to completely cure it although your dentist can certainly reduce it. As with gingivitis, your dentist can use scaling and treatment with antibiotics and may refer you to the periodontist who may perform surgical treatments—such as pocket reduction surgery and tissue grafts—in order to strengthen the bone. .
Aggressive Periodontal Disease - The diagnosis of this disease is based on the speed of bone loss and damage, as well as gum detachment. Smokers and those with a family history of periodontal disease are the ones who are most likely to suffer from it.