Gum disease, also known as periodontitis, is a common dental infection that affects the jawbone and soft tissues surrounding a tooth. The infection is the leading cause of tooth loss because most people only notice it only when it is too late. In this blog, we will discuss periodontitis in detail, providing you with information about its treatment, prevention, and diagnosis. But before that, here are a few fast facts about the disease.
To diagnose the infection, the dentist will ask you several questions. In most cases, he will ask you about your medical history. He might also ask you about your current medications and whether you smoke. Then, the dentist examines your mouth, looking for plaque buildup or bleeding gums.
Next, the dentist takes a measurement of the depth of your pockets. A pocket is a depth between the gum and tooth. Your pocket should not exceed three millimetres. If it does, it might mean that you are suffering from gum disease.
Finally, the dentist uses x-ray imaging to get a vivid picture of the state of your gums and bone health. You don’t need to worry about radiation exposure. The exposure is too little to cause any harm. It is pretty much like the exposure we get in our workplaces and public areas. Even pregnant ladies can take these x-rays, and the health of their baby will not be affected.
There are several treatments for gum disease, and the dentist will help you choose the most suitable one, depending on the severity of the infection. These procedures include:
Scaling is the removal of tartar and plaque buildup from the surface of a patient’s teeth. In most cases, the dentist uses a scaler to remove the buildup, but he can also use an ultrasonic device. Both approaches get the job done. This approach is often used when gum disease is in its early stages.
Root planing is specifically used for smoothening a patient’s roots surface to discourage further plaque and tartar buildup. The procedure also gets rid of any bacterial byproducts that cause inflammation and delayed healing.
The dentist may recommend oral or topical antibiotics to treat gum disease. Antibiotics help control bacterial infections, and gum disease is a bacterial disease.
For severe gum disease cases, the dentist may recommend flap surgery. Flap surgery helps a dentist clean the infected tooth and get rid of the infection completely.
A soft tissue graft is also a surgical approach done to fix receding gums. The dentist reinforces the affected soft tissues with tissues from other parts of your body, mostly from the roof of your mouth. He can also get the soft tissues from another person, animal, or the lab. Fixing receding gums covers exposed roots and gets rid of gum disease.
Guided tissue regeneration helps regrow the bone damaged by periodontitis. The procedure involves the placement of a biocompatible material on the existing bone to prevent unneeded tissue from getting into the healing area. This helps the bone to regrow. The procedure is used for severe cases of gum disease.
There are various ways you can prevent gum disease. They include:
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