What is periodontitis?
Periodontitis means inflammation around the gums. This is a common but serious periodontal disease that gradually degrades the soft tissue around the teeth. This loosens the structure of the teeth and ultimately results in tooth loss.
Bacteria build up around the teeth, forming a transparent film called plaque around the teeth. Failure to remove this will lead to hard calcification and tartar formation.
What are the symptoms of periodontitis?
Healthy teeth have firm, pale pink gums. The early stages of periodontitis are asymptomatic or negligible, but as the disease progresses, the following symptoms occur:
- Repeated swelling of the gums
- Bleeding after brushing teeth
- Permanent bad breath, a condition called bad breath
- Reddish gum bleeding
- Accumulation of pus between teeth and gums
- Pain during chewing
- Loose teeth
- Retraction of the gums makes the appearance of the teeth abnormally long
- Space between teeth
- X-ray of teeth showing the development of pockets between the teeth and gums
Periodontitis is almost painless. Therefore, patients tend to ignore these painless bleeding symptoms. On the contrary, these are the main symptoms of growing periodontitis.
What Causes Periodontitis?
To take the necessary precautions, you need to be aware of the causes of periodontitis.
- Plaque formation in your teeth: The moment sugar and other particles from the food you eat combine with the oral flora (already present in your mouth), plaque builds up rapidly on your teeth. However, you can remove plaque by brushing your teeth twice a day and applying dental floss at least once.
- Plaque can lead to tartar formation: Improper dental care and plaque on your teeth can settle under your gums and become tartar or tartar. Tartar is hard and difficult to remove, and it also contains bacteria. The longer they stay on your teeth, the more damage they can do. Once cured, regular brushing and flossing will not help get rid of them, and you need to look for a professional tooth cleaning service.
- Dental plaque can cause periodontitis: Gingiva is a periodontal disease that causes inflammation and discomfort in the gums (the part of the gums near the roots of the teeth). This gum condition can be cured with proper oral care and dental treatment.
- Inflammation of the gums: If you have gum inflammation, it can cause periodontitis. Prolonged gum inflammation creates gaps between the teeth and gums. These gaps will eventually become the home of tartar, plaque, and bacteria. Over time, these gaps deepen and lead to infection. Inflammation of the gums, if left untreated, can damage the teeth and lead to tooth loss. All this puts your immune system at risk.
What are the risk factors for periodontitis?
Here are some risk factors associated with periodontitis:
- Gingitis (periodontal disease)
- Inappropriate oral habits
- Chewing tobacco
- Hormonal imbalance due to menopause or pregnancy
- Consumption of recreational drugs, including marijuana
- Being obese
- Malnutrition such as Vit. C deficiency
- Taking medications that can lead to dry mouth and gum changes
- Health status that suppresses immunity such as HIV / AIDS and leukemia
- Other medical conditions such as Crohn’s disease, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis
- Cancer treatment
What are the complications associated with periodontitis?
Periodontitis causes tooth decay and eventually tooth fall. It is also associated with increased CRP (C-reactive protein) levels and interleukin-6 protein. This increases the risk of heart problems such as atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, high blood pressure, and even stroke.
Bacteria from the teeth can also infect the patient’s bloodstream, thereby affecting distant areas.These, in turn, cause a variety of medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, respiratory illness, coronary artery problems, and diabetic sugar control.
When do you see a doctor?
Gingival bleeding is the main sign of developing periodontitis. Regular dental examinations should be done as soon as swelling of the gums, chewing problems, and tooth mobility are observed.
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How is periodontitis diagnosed?
To diagnose periodontitis, the dentist examines your mouth for plaque deposits and tartar buildup. He / she also checks if your gums are easily bleeding.
Once the oral examination is complete, the dentist uses dental probes at multiple sites to measure the depth of the pocket (gap) between the teeth and gums. In a healthy mouth, the depth of the dental pocket is about 1 mm to 3 mm. However, pockets deeper than 4 mm can be a sign of periodontitis. If the oral pocket is deeper than 5 mm, it can be difficult to clean.
The dentist may then take a dental x-ray to see if there is bone loss in the deep pockets.
What are the treatment options for periodontitis?
In the absence of advanced periodontitis, treatment is likely to be less invasive. This includes:
- Scaling: A procedure that removes bacteria and tartar from the surface of teeth and under the gums.
- Root Planing: This is another dental treatment that smoothes the surface of the root while eliminating the possibility of bacterial and tartar buildup in the future. It also kills bacterial by-products that can lead to delayed healing, inflammation and other tooth problems.
- Medications: The dentist may also prescribe oral or topical antibiotics to check for bacterial infections.
If periodontitis is advanced, your doctor is likely to recommend the following treatment steps.
Pocket reduction surgery (flap surgery): During this surgery, a periodontist makes a small cut in the gum to lift part of the gum tissue. It exposes the roots, making root planing and scaling easy and effective. In most cases, periodontitis leads to bone loss. The dentist is more likely to contour the underlying bone before sewing back the gingival tissue. After recovery, it will be easier to keep these areas clean and maintain good gum tissue.
Soft tissue graft: Your gums happen to recede following the loss of gum tissue. In such cases, your dentist may reinforce the injured soft tissue. During this procedure, the dentist removes a small piece of tissue from your palate (the roof of your mouth) or the donor’s mouth and implants it into the affected area of your gums. Soft tissue grafts significantly reduce gingival line retraction. And this also covers the exposed parts of the roots, while giving your teeth a pleasing look.
Bone graft: If the bone around the root is damaged or destroyed, a periodontist may perform a bone graft. Grafts are made up of small pieces of bone (your bone, donor bone, or artificial bone). This procedure keeps the teeth in place while preventing tooth loss. It also acts as a platform for natural bone regeneration.
Tissue stimulating protein: During this surgical procedure, your dentist will apply a special gel to the roots of the sick tooth. The gel contains the same types of proteins needed for the development of tooth enamel. This gel also helps stimulate healthy tissue and bone growth.
Guided tissue regeneration: This procedure helps to regenerate damaged bone infected with bacteria.
Most often, sustained-release medications are used for long-term relief.
- A disinfectant tip in which small gelatin particles filled with an antibacterial agent such as chlorhexidine are inserted into the root pocket after gliding.
- Antibiotic gel: Place the antibiotic doxycycline gel in the root pocket to reduce the size of the pocket.
- Antibiotic microspheres: Microscopic beads containing the antibiotic minocycline are placed in the root pocket to minimize bacterial growth.
- Oral antibiotics
What are the preventive measures for periodontitis?
Here are some necessary precautions:
1. Brushing twice daily, or preferably after each meal, can help prevent periodontitis.
2. Do dental floss on a regular basis.
3. Use a soft bristle toothbrush and replace the brush every 3-4 months. Clean your toothbrush every time you wash.
4. Electric toothbrush is more effective in removing plaque.
5. To prevent bacterial growth, mouthwashes containing antibacterial agents such as chlorhexidine are needed.
6. Fluoride toothpaste is used to protect tooth enamel.
7. Use an interdental brush, pick, or cleaner to clean more effectively. Floss helps clean small spaces, and dental picks help clean large spaces.
8. Regularly consult a professional dentist for tooth cleaning and other tests.
9. Smoking or use of tobacco in any form is prohibited.
10. Home remedies such as salt water rinse, aloe vera and turmeric can help.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can periodontitis be remedied?
No, it is irreversible. Periodontitis causes permanent damage to the teeth. You can only control it or minimize bacterial infections to prevent further damage.
Can Saltrins Cure Periodontitis?
It certainly helps. Regular gargling with warm salt water removes hidden bacteria from your tooth pockets.
Can tea bags help heal swollen gums?
Pressing a damp tea bag against the painful, swollen gums can temporarily relieve pain and inflammation.
The post that All wanted to know about periodontitis was first posted on the Apollo Hospitals Blog.