What are periodontal diseases?
The word “periodontal” literally means “around the tooth.” Periodontal diseases are bacterial gum infections that destroy the gums and supporting bone that hold your teeth in your mouth. Periodontal diseases can affect one tooth or many teeth. many teeth. The main cause of periodontal diseases is bacterial plaque, a plaque is not removed, it can turn into a hard substance called calculus or tartar in less than two days. Tartar is so hard it can only be removed by an oral health professional, such as a dentist or dental hygienist. The bacteria in plaque infect the gums, and release poisons that cause redness and inflammation (irritation). The inflammation and the poisons themselves cause destruction of the tissues that support the teeth, including the bone. When this happens, the gums separate microscopically from the teeth, forming pockets that fill with even more plaque causing even more infection..
Periodontal diseases are multi-factorial
This means that there is not just one cause of periodontal diseases but of rather multiple factors that can affect the health your gums.
- GENETICS and family history of periodontal diseases indicate a greater likelihood of developing these diseases.
- TOBACCO use significantly increases the risk of developing periodontal diseases and can negatively affect treatment.
- MEDICATIONS such as oral contraceptives, antidepressants and certain heart medicine, can affect oral health.
- HORMONAL CHANGES during pregnancy, puberty and menopause can cause the gums to become red, tender and bleed easily.
- STRESS can make it more difficult for the body to fight off infection, including periodontal diseases
- DESTRUCTIVE HABITS such as improper oral hygiene technique, oral piercing, drug or alcohol abuse can affect periodontal health.
- POOR NUTRITION can make it harder for the body to fight off infection.
- SYSTEMIC DISEASES that interfere with the body’s immune system may worsen the condition of the gums and supporting bone.
|Gingivitis||The results of treating periodontal destruction and bone loss suffered gum disease(periodontitis)|
What are the signs of periodontal diseases?
Periodontal diseases are often silent meaning that symptoms. Some people may have periodontitis and not experience any symptoms and be unaware that they have disease. Common symptoms and signs of periodontal diseases include:
- Red, Swollen Or Tender Gums
- Bleedıng Whıle Brushıng Or Flossıng
- Gums Pullıng Away From The Teeth Makıng Teeth Appear Longer
- Loose Or Separatıng Teeth
- Pus Between The Gum And Tooth
- Persıstent Bad Breath
- A Change In The Way Your Teeth Fıt Together When You Bıte
- A Change In The Fıt Of Partıal Dentures
How are periodontal diseases treated?
Once your periodontal health has been evaluated, your periodontist will work with you to determine the best treatment options to control your disease and bring you back to health. Treatment can vary depending on how far the disease has progressed. If diagnosed and treated in the early stages, simple non-surgical periodontal therapy may be sufficient. If periodontitis has advanced to the point where the periodontal pockets are deep and significant amounts of bone are lost, surgical therapy may be necessary. Once periodontitis has been controlled, patients will require ongoing periodontal maintenance procedures to sustain health. This ongoing phase of treatment will allow your periodontist to assess your periodontal health and make sure that your infection stays under control or remains eliminated. During these re-evaluation appointments, your mouth will be examined, new calculus and plaque will be removed and, if necessary, your teeth will be polished and your bite will be checked. Periodontal diseases are chronic diseases, just like diabetes. Without careful, ongoing treatment, periodontal diseases can and often do recur.
How can the periodontal diseases be prevented?
Good oral hygiene and professional care are the keys to keeping your teeth for a lifetime. The best way to prevent periodontal diseases and tooth decay is to remove the bacterial plaque by thorough brushing and flossing every day. Good oral hygiene habits will help keep the formation of dental tartar to a minimum. Regular dental visits that include a periodontal examination are also important to detect any changes in periodontal health and, if necessary, to remove hardened tartar in places that your toothbrush and floss may have missed. A Professional cleaning (often called a prophylaxis) at least twice a year is recommended for patients with good periodontal health. If you have had any form of the periodontal diseases, you may need professional maintenance more frequently. Congratulations on taking the first step to achieving periodontal health! Preventing and/or controlling periodontal diseases is a worthwhile commitment that will keep you smiling for life.