Periodontal is a long word, and simply refers to the areas of your mouth around your teeth. Although periodontitis or periodontal disease is often called gum disease, this is just because they are the most obvious area around your teeth, but periodontal disease can often affect the tissue around your teeth as well, and if periodontal disease is left untreated, then it can start to affect your jawbone.
The first sign of periodontal disease is gingivitis, which is an infection of the gums due to bacteria that is created because of toxins in the plaque. This will irritate and inflame your gum tissue, and once the bacteria is settled in your gums it is rather difficult to remove them. As the periodontal disease continues to develop, some of the tissue will be destroyed and this means that teeth can shift in your mouth, or even fall out.
When it comes to periodontal disease, the sooner that it is treated the better because it is the number one contributing factor to tooth loss in adults.
Gum Disease Types
When gingivitis is not treated it will begin to move below the gum line, and this can lead to your body fighting off the bacteria by inadvertently destroying the gum and tissue around it. The trouble is that there are very few symptoms of gum disease, and so many people do not even realise that they have it. As the pockets of tissue damage get bigger, there is more room for the bacteria to spread, and the disease continues to get more and more serious. There are four main different types of gum disease:
- Chronic periodontitis: teeth appear to be lengthening because the gums are receding due to the bacteria, and teeth can become detached over time. This is the most frequent form.
- Aggressive periodontitis: this gum disease is more aggressive and will lead to loosing teeth very quickly. Bone is also destroyed during this process.
- Necrotizing periodontitis: usually found in patients who have other health problems such as HIV, malnutrition, immunosuppression, and other whole system issues. This tissue death can be found in gum tissue, your jawbone, and other ligaments.
- Periodontitis cause by disease: affecting people of all ages, this may be caused by something such as heart disease, diabetes, or respiratory disease.
Gum Disease Treatment
When you or your dentist recognise that you have gum disease, there are a variety of different options that you can take in order to treat it, and the one that your dentist will recommend to you will depend on the condition of your gums, teeth, and jawbone. This is why a complete examination of your mouth will be undertaken in order to assess this. Some of the more frequent treatments for periodontal disease include:
- Root planing and scaling: bacteria and tartar, or hardened plaque, are removed in order to prevent the infection from spreading. Any pockets and gaps are cleaned and the patient is given antibiotics. A mouthwash may be prescribed in order to prevent re-infection.
- Tissue regeneration: if too much gum or bone has been destroyed, tissue may be grafted on from another location to encourage the regrowth. Some patients will require a membrane in order to support this growth process.
- Pocket elimination: by reducing the pockets, you can reduce the amount of space that bacteria has to grow, and so surgery may be required to remove them. In more extreme cases, surgery on your jawbone may also be required.
- Dental implants: when teeth are lost due to gum disease, then the best way to prevent further decay is to have a false tooth fitted in, removing the amount of space for the bacteria to live. Tissue regeneration may also be used at the same time if there is not enough bone to hold the implant.
It’s usually covered by insurance, so don’t hesitate to call (619) 640-5100 to make an appointment for a gum disease checkup..