Periodontitis, also referred to as gum disease, refers to a severe gum infection that destroys your soft tissue. It also destroys the bone supporting your teeth if left untreated. Periodontal disease can cause your teeth to loosen or, in extreme cases, result in tooth loss. With good oral hygiene and early treatment, you can stop the damage of the periodontal disease. Here we will focus on signs of gum disease and treatment.
Table of Contents
Types of Gum Disease
The severity of your condition triggers the types of gum disease. Here are some stages of periodontal disease.
Inflammation or Gingivitis
Gum disease or periodontitis starts with gum inflammation, referred to as gingivitis. At this stage, your gums bleed after flossing or brushing your teeth. Another sign is teeth discoloration. This is plaque, which is a buildup of food particles and bacteria on the teeth. Even though you always have bacteria in the mouth, they are not harmful until the condition permits them. This can be the failure to floss and brush your teeth regularly.
Early Stage Gum Disease
In early stage gum disease, the gums pull away or recede, forming a pocket between the teeth and gums. Receding gums causes a harbor for harmful bacteria. Your immune system might try its best to fight this infection, but all in vain. Some of the signs of gum disease are bleeding when flossing and brushing, and bone loss.
Moderate Gum Disease
In this stage, the signs of gum disease include pain and bleeding around your teeth and recession of the gums. Receding gums causes your teeth to loosen due to lost bone support. The infection may also result in inflammation of your other body parts.
Advanced Gum Disease
At this stage, the connective tissues for your teeth deteriorate. The bones, gums, and other tissues get destroyed. At this stage, the gum disease symptoms include severe pain during chewing, foul taste, and bad breath. There is also a likelihood of losing your teeth.
Symptoms of Periodontitis
If your gums are healthy, they should appear pale pink and firm and fit neatly around your teeth. Here are the gum disease symptoms.
- Puffy or swollen gums
- Bleeding gums
- Dusky red, bright red, or purplish gums.
- Tender gumsAfter brushing, the toothbrush turns pink.
- Bad breathWhen brushing or flossing, you spit out blood.
- Loose teeth or teeth loss
- Pus between gums and teeth
- Painful chewing
- Retreating gums, making the teeth appear longer than normal.
- Large spacing between the teeth
- Changes in your bite
It is important to note that gum disease symptoms in the early stages are not very noticeable. The periodontist may be the first person to discover them.
Causes of Periodontal Disease
If you are healthy, then you have hundreds of bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria are not harmful. If you fail to clean your teeth, the bacteria will grow and form plaque on your teeth. Periodontal disease is a result of poor oral hygiene. If you fail to brush your teeth and reach the hidden parts when brushing, the following things will occur.
- The bacteria will increase and result in dental plaque.
- If you fail to eliminate the plaque through brushing, the bacteria will deposit some minerals on the plaque.
- This deposit is called tartar, and it will encourage more bacteria to grow towards the tooth’s root.
- The immune response of this bacteria will lead to gum inflammation.
- Over time, the gum to root attachment gets disrupted, and the periodontal gap forms between the root and the gum.
- The pocket becomes a breeding place for the bacteria, and they release toxins that damage your teeth, gums, and bone structure.
Risk Factors of Periodontitis
Here are some of the factors that increase the risk of gum disease.
- Poor dental health habits
- Chewing or smoking tobacco
- Hormonal changes
- Inadequate nutrition
- Use of the recreational drug
- Diseases that reduce your immunity, such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, and leukemia
- Certain drugs that result in gum changes or dry mouth
- Certain conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and Crohn’s disease
Complications of Gum Disease
Periodontal disease comes with serious complications. One of the most common is teeth loss. The bacteria that cause gum disease may enter your other body parts through the gum tissue and affect them. For instance, periodontitis is associated with rheumatoid arthritis, respiratory disease, coronary artery condition, and diabetes. Other complications include the following.
- Teeth migration which may affect your eating
- Painful abscesses
- Receding gums that lead to exposure of your teeth’ roots
- Increased chances of complications when pregnant. These include preeclampsia and low birth weight.
Diagnosis of Periodontal Disease
To know if you have gum disease and its severity, your dentist will do the following.
- Your Dentist will review the medical history. This will help them to identify the factors contributing to the gum disease symptoms. Some of these factors include consumption of certain medications and smoking.
- They will examine the mouth to see if there is tartar and plaque buildup.
- Your Dentist will place a dental probe beneath the gum line and beside the tooth to measure the depth of the pocket between your teeth and gums.
- They will take oral x-rays to check if you have bone loss in regions with deeper pocket depth.
How to Treat Gum Disease
Periodontitis treatment is a bit complicated, and only hygienists, dentists, or periodontists can perform it. The treatment may involve oral surgery or unique dental procedures. The seriousness of your condition will determine the type of treatment used. That is to say, periodontitis treatment aims to clean teeth pockets and prevent bone damage. If you stop tobacco use, adopt good dental care, and manage health cases that might affect your oral health, there will be high chances of successful treatment. Here is a description of how to treat gum disease.
Non-Surgical Treatments for Periodontal Disease
For early stage gum disease, the treatment will involve non-surgical procedures, which include the following.
Root Planing for Periodontal Disease
This procedure smooths your root surface and discourages further buildup of bacteria and tartar. In addition, it removes bacteria that cause inflammation and delayed healing or gum reattachment with the tooth surface.
This procedure helps in the removal of bacteria and tartar from the teeth surface and under your gums. The dentist may use an ultrasonic device or a laser to perform this procedure.
There are oral and topical antibiotics that help in controlling the bacterial infection. Oral antibiotics are used to do away with the bacteria causing the infection. On the other hand, topical antibiotics include gels’ insertion with antibiotics between your gums and teeth and oral antibiotic rinses.
Surgical Treatments for Periodontal Disease
For advanced periodontitis, the following dental surgery treatments are necessary.
During this procedure, the periodontist will make small incisions in the gum. This will help a part of your gum get lifted to expose the roots for efficient root planing and scaling. Periodontitis often leads to bone loss; hence, the dentist may contour it before suturing the gum tissue. Once the healing process is over, cleaning and maintaining a healthy gum becomes easier.
Bone Grafting for Periodontal Disease
If periodontitis has damaged the bone that surrounds your teeth roots, a bone grafting procedure is necessary. The graft comprises tiny fragments of your bone or a bone that is donated or synthetic. Are you wondering how to fix loose teeth from gum disease? Bone grafting helps in the prevention of tooth loss by ensuring the tooth is held in position. Bone grafting also serves as a platform for the redevelopment of a new natural bone.
Soft Tissues Graft
Receding gums are a result of gum tissue loss. With receding gums, you may need reinforcement of the impaired soft tissue. This is achieved by extracting a small tissue amount from the upper part of your mouth (palate) or getting tissue from a donor and fixing it to the affected areas. Soft tissue grafting helps minimize gum recession, provide your teeth with a new look, and cover the roots.
This procedure involves the application of a unique gel to the root of the affected tooth. The gel has similar proteins found in growing tooth enamel; hence, it stimulates healthy tissue and bone development.
Guided Tissue Redevelopment
This procedure gives room for the regeneration of a bone that bacteria destroyed. The dentist will place a unique piece of compatible fabric between the tooth and the existing bone. This unique material prevents undesirable tissue from getting to the healing region giving the bone a chance to grow.
Home Remedies and Lifestyle to prevent Periodontal Disease
Are you wondering how to reverse gum disease using home remedies? Here are some measures that can help you to reverse gum disease.
- Brush the teeth two times a day or after every snack or meal.
- Brush using a soft toothbrush since its more effective in removing tartar and plaque
- Floss at least once every day
- Make use of an oral rinse to assist in minimizing plaque.
- Avoid smoking or chewing tobacco.
- Schedule regular dental cleanings with your dentist
- On top of flossing and brushing, use an interdental cleaner that cleans in-between your teeth. This can be an interdental brush, dental pick, or dental stick.
Contact the Professionals
You can stop gum disease if detected and treated early. The treatment for this condition at an early stage is always a success. If you have periodontal disease, visiting your doctor regularly is vital in ensuring that this condition does not continue. You will require to change dental sanitation habits fully and follow the dentist’s instructions for positive results.
The long-term results will depend on your efforts with dental hygiene and your dentist’s ongoing assessment. Besides the periodontal disease progressing faster in smokers, they still have a poor outlook regarding it. Most cases of unresponsive treatment involve smokers. If you seek periodontitis treatment or have a question regarding gum disease, our team is ready to help you. Call Voss Dental, best periodontal dental practice in Houston today to schedule an appointment with our dentist.