“Perio” means around and “dontal” means tooth. Periodontal disease is an infection that gradually destroys the gum tissue surrounding your teeth and the jawbone. Nearly 3 out of 4 people will be affected with some form of gum disease at some time in their life, If it left untreated, often develops Periodontitis and eventual tooth loss.
Check out if you have any Gum Diseases?
- Do you have swollen gums?
- Do you find bleeding when you floss or brush?
- Do you have bad breath?
- Are the tips of your gums turned any color other than pink?
- Have your gums pulled back from your teeth?
- Have the spaces between your teeth increased recently?
- Do you feel loose tooth or teeth?
- Has the way your bite down changed?
The more times you find the answer “yes”, the more likely it is that you need professional treatment.
Our mouth is full of bacteria. In a healthy mouth, there is a natural balance of different kinds of bacteria. In fact, our teeth are constantly being coated with a white layer (film) of debris and bacteria. This layer is called a plaque. Bacteria will not harm in a normal condition, it will harm when dramatically their number increases. But brushing and flossing help reduce the bacteria by removing plaque. If plaque is not removed on time, it will be hardened and forms calculus (tartar). This calculus will only be removed by a Dentist.
How does periodontal/Gum Disease develop?
Common causes of Gum Disease:
- Poor oral hygiene: The root cause of gum disease is plaque and cavity. Which forms when the hygiene is not maintained.
- Diet: Some Nutritional deficiencies ( e.g. Vit. C deficiency and Iron defencies), excessive alcohol consumption.
- Habits: Tobacco usage and excessive use of toothpicks.
- Dental Causes: Large untreated cavities, irregular teeth, ill-fitting dentures, ongoing braces treatment.
- Medical Causes: Some medical issues such as Diabetes, pregnancy, use of oral contraceptives, steroids, Etc.
Gum disease comes in Stages:
Stage 1: Gingivitis
Poor brushing and flossing habits allow dental plaque formation. Plaque contains germs which cause gum disease. Some early signs of gingivitis may include swelling, bleeding, or tenderness. At this point, you may notice slightly loose gum but still attached high on the teeth. This inflammation of the gums is known as gingivitis and is the first stage of gum disease.
When gingivitis is not treated, the plaque is allowed to accumulate and it forms calculus or tartar. This calculus slowly starts to wear down the gum and bone support of the teeth. Further, it leads to pocket formation and bone destruction. As the disease continues, more bone gets damaged, the teeth loosen and finally fall out or may need to be pulled. Periodontitis is a silent disease, where the bacterial infection of the gums and the supporting tissues usually occurs without pain.
Sings of Periodontitis include:</>
Stage 3: Advanced Periodontitis
You may experience receding gums with exposed roots, darker calculus if you press on your gums deposit of pus.
Treatment of the periodontal disease depends on the damage done by the disease. Periodontitis affects more than just gums, so, it cannot be controlled with regular brushing and flossing. Treatment of periodontal disease involves extensive procedures. The primary goals of the treatment are to promote reattachment of healthy gums to teeth, to reduce swelling, the depth of pockets, and the risk of infection, and stop further damage.
Treatment options may be non-surgical or surgical.
1. Scaling and Root Planning
Scaling: This is a type of cleaning. It removes plaque and tartar from the teeth and below the gum line.
Root Planning: The Dentist smoothens the root surfaces so that supportive tissues can reattach to the tooth surface. Local anesthesia will be used to numb the area, as this procedure goes deeper than regular cleaning. Your Dentist will remove a small part of infected gum tissue with a procedure called soft tissue curettage.
2. Antibiotics and Anti-inflammatory.
3. Bite Correction.
4. Splinting (using adjacent strong teeth to support the weak or mobile teeth).
In later stages of the disease, depending on the severity, any of the following procedures may be indicated.
This procedure aims to remove an overgrowth of gum tissue taking the gum level back to its original position.
- Flap surgery
During this treatment, small incision is made and a “ flap” is lifted. The gums are gently folded back, allowing the dentist to access the infected pocket. Deep deposits of plaque and tartar also removed. The gum is then replaced to the normal position
- Reshaping the Bone
Your Dentist may use osseous (bone) surgery to shape the bone after the flap surgery. In this procedure, gums will be sutured below the original gum line, reduce areas that trap plaque.
Professional treatment alone can not cure for gum disease; it needs your dedication and care. Follow these simple tips as part of a self-care program:
- Brush your teeth twice a day.
- To remove plaque from between teeth flossing is necessary
- Rinse your mouth thoroughly after each meal.
- Replace your brush every 3 to 4 month.
Thus we can come to the conclusion “An ounce of prevention is worth than a pound of cure!!”