We often keep ourselves so busy in pampering our skin and hair that the need of dental care remains ignored by us. But it can turn you into a victim of periodontal diseases. These are a wide range of gum issues, which start with simple curable inflammations and lead to severe damages of the soft tissue as well as bone holding up the teeth, thereby causing even teeth loss over time. It is always better to gain knowledge of what can harm you and take preventive measures before the situation goes out of control. So, let’s know about the causes, symptoms and treatments of periodontal disease today:
Possible Causes of Periodontal Disease
There are always a huge amount of bacteria present inside our mouth cavity. When they come in contact with mucus and various food particles, a sticky transparent substance called ‘plaque’ is formed on the surface of our teeth. If plaque is not removed by regular brushing and flossing, it becomes hard and results into ‘tartar’, which can’t be cleaned without the help of a pro and can affect our dental health significantly in long run.
At the initial stage, the bacteria present in tartar cause inflammation, which results into redness, tenderness, swelling, etc. in gums and frequent bleeding from them. This condition is medically termed as ‘gingivitis’ and known to be a mild form of gum disease. It doesn’t involve any tissue or bone loss. Moreover, it can be cured successfully with regular brushing, flossing, and dental cleaning (at the clinic).
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But, when gingivitis is ignored and left without treatment, it advances to more severe inflammation and that too around the teeth. In this condition, gums get separated from the teeth forming small ‘pocket’-like spaces in between them. As the hardened plaque reaches the gum line gradually, these pockets get infected by oral bacteria and the immune system of our body starts to respond. This infective condition is known as ‘peiodontitis’.
The toxins from the bacteria and the antitoxins from our body together affect the soft connective tissues as well as bones present along our gum line. When they start to break down and become unable to hold the teeth in their places properly, we experience various periodontal diseases. These can completely destroy the tissues and bones without immediate treatment and you may have to remove the affected teeth eventually.
Some other serious risk factors for periodontitis are listed below:
- Hormonal imbalances
- Diabetes mellitus
- Genetic vulnerability
- Habit of smoking
- Medicinal reactions
- Diseases like cancer, HIV AIDS etc. and their treatments
Common Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
There are some very common symptoms of periodontal diseases, which can be identified easily by us. We have listed them below:
- Bad breath, which is almost incurable with effective home remedies and popular commercial mouth-freshening products
- Red, puffy and engorged gums
- Extreme tenderness in ums
- Frequent bleeding from gums
- Extreme sensitivity in teeth
- Loose or displaced teeth in gum line
- Painful sensation in teeth and gums during chewing or eating anything
- Gradually receding gum line
- Comparatively longer-looking teeth
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If you start to face any of the aforementioned issues, get in touch with your dentist right away. He / she will perform a thorough dental checkup to find out whether you are suffering from periodontitis or going to be a victim of it in near future. You’ll be referred to a periodontist depending upon it.
Effective Treatments of Periodontal Disease
The treatment of periodontal diseases can vary widely based on the severity of the infections. However, the objective of the procedures is nothing but curing the infection and the patient must take proper dental care at home during and after the treatments in all cases. Here, we have talked about three most effective treatment methods:
- Deep Cleaning
This is the process of removing the hardened plaque present on the teeth. The experts perform this process in the following two different phases:
- Scaling: The tartar is totally scraped off from both above as well as below the gum line.
- Root Planing: Removes oral bacteria and makes the ‘rough spots’ (the places where the bacteria assemble) on the roots of the teeth plane.
Deep cleaning can be performed either in the traditional way or by using a laser beam to lower the bleeding, distension and uneasiness.
Most of the time, certain medications are prescribed by the dentists while carrying out the deep cleaning treatment. These include:
- Antimicrobial mouthwash (doctors’ prescribed)
- Antibiotic gel
- Oral antibiotics
- Antibiotic microspheres
- Antiseptic chip
- Enzyme suppressant
However, the long-term effects of these prescription drugs are yet to be discovered.
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Generally, two types of surgical methods are considered for the treatment of periodontal diseases. These are as follows:
- Flap Surgery: In this procedure, the gum is lifted back to remove the tartar and clean the periodontal pockets. It is then stitched to set the tissue back in its place and restore the actual gum-teeth positioning along with the oral cleanliness.
- Bone and Tissue Grafts: This procedure involves the grafting of natural or synthetic bones and tissue at the places of the gum line where they are actually lost due to periodontitis. It is basically a surgical technique called Guided Tissue Regeneration and it helps in encouraging the growth of bone and tissue.
Are you really taking enough care of your gums and teeth? If not then start from today and avoid periodontal diseases.