Understanding Periodontal Disease and Treatment Options

Understanding Periodontal Disease and Treatment Options

Dec 01, 2020

Periodontal disease is a severe infection damaging the soft tissue right below the gum line. When left untreated, this infection creates tiny pockets separating your gums from your teeth to eventually result in bleeding, dental issues, and tooth loss.

All dentists provide periodontal treatment to patients who approach them with this infection. While providing treatment, dentists are surprised why nearly 65 million Americans in the age group of 30 or older have advanced periodontal disease known as periodontitis. The infection is more prevalent in men than in women. Besides causing dental issues, periodontal disease can affect the entire body when the bacteria from the infection spreads into the bloodstream.

While approximately 30 percent of Americans are affected by periodontal disease because of genetics, the others make themselves vulnerable to this infection merely by neglecting oral hygiene and regular visits to their dentist. Let us understand what periodontal disease is and the treatments available for this infection.

Periodontal Disease: Common but Largely Preventable

As mentioned earlier, the primary cause of periodontal disease is poor oral hygiene. People neglect brushing twice a day, flossing at least once, and visiting their dentist for exams and cleanings every six months. Following the above routine helps people to significantly improve their chances of receiving successful treatments for periodontal disease. It also reduces their chances of developing the infection. However, once infected, people are compelled to make frequent visits to their dentist to receive mild or intensive treatments according to the severity of their condition.

What Are the Causes of Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease develops with plaque buildup, which is a sticky film of bacteria. When plaque is not removed from the teeth or left untreated, the condition progresses to periodontitis.

The formation of plaque on the teeth begins when sugars and starches in foods interact with bacteria prevalent in the mouth. Brushing your teeth as recommended by your dentist, eliminates plaque, which develops again quickly.

When plaque is allowed to remain on your teeth for long, it hardens into tartar. The hardened form of plaque is challenging to remove by brushing and flossing. It requires help from a professional dentist for the removal.

Plaque causes gingivitis, which is the most moderate form of gum disease. Gingivitis causes stress and infection to the part of the gum membrane at the bottom of your gingiva. Gingivitis is reversible with professional treatment and proper home oral care.

Ongoing gum inflammation causes periodontitis to cause pockets to develop between your gums and teeth populated by bacteria, plaque, and tartar. These pockets become more in-depth with time accumulating more bacteria to develop into a severe infection. When left untreated, serious conditions cause bone and tissue loss resulting in loss of teeth eventually. Furthermore, the ongoing chronic inflammation puts a strain on your immune system.

Periodontal Disease Is Preventable: Here’s How You Can Achieve It

Following a good oral hygiene program throughout your life after beginning early is the best way to prevent periodontal disease. Good oral hygiene requires you to brush your teeth for two minutes two times a day in the morning and just before getting into bed in the evening. Flossing is also essential to remove loose and food particles and bacteria accumulating on your teeth. Following these practices prevents creating an environment around your teeth favorable to unique bacteria that cause periodontal disease.

Brushing by itself won’t help unless you visit your dentist for exams and cleanings every six months as the dentist treating you can identify the signs of periodontal disease early to offer prompt treatment. If you have other risk factors like xerostomia or are taking some medications, the need for professional feelings will rise significantly.

The Treatment for Periodontal Therapy

The severity of periodontal disease affecting you determines what kind of treatment the dentist provides. Mild to moderate periodontal therapy is treated with scaling, root planing, and antibiotics.

Scaling eliminates tartar and bacteria from your tooth surfaces, and root planing smoothes the root surfaces to discourage further bacteria buildup. Oral or topical antibiotics help to control bacterial infection. Unfortunately, if you are affected by advanced periodontitis, the treatments you need may include surgery, bone grafting, and soft tissue grafts. These procedures can help to control periodontal disease to leave you with better-looking teeth and gums without any infections.

It is incredibly essential for you to continue following the instructions your dentist provides to ensure periodontal disease does not affect you again to require further treatments for this largely preventable condition.

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