Everything You Should Know About Periodontal Disease and Treatment
Some diseases are not given as much attention, even though they are the reason why many patients visit dental care facilities. Periodontal disease is one of those oral problems that very few people talk about, even though it affects the vast majority.
With early detection and treatment, this disease can be a tale of the past. Unfortunately, for most people, they only get to seek gum disease treatment when things have gotten worse.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
It is a broad term used to describe the infection of the gum tissue that can also affect the bone tissue underneath. Many people refer to it as gum disease, having that the infection largely affects the gum tissue.
Periodontal disease is a very common oral problem, affecting many adults than would care to admit. The worst bit is that there is no particular known cause of the infection. However, some of the risk factors that increase the chances of getting gum disease include:
- Smoking and other tobacco usages
- Excessive intake of alcohol
- Genetics and family histories of gum infections
- Poor oral hygiene
- Underlying health problems like diabetes and cancer.
Types of Periodontal Disease
This is a categorization of the different stages of gum infection. It helps a periodontal dentist determine the most fitting treatment for you, based on the stage of the disease you are at and the symptoms thereof. The types are:
- Gingivitis – is the initial stage of periodontal disease. It features the earlier stages of infection, where only the gum tissue has suffered an infection. At this stage, many of the symptoms experienced are mild, with some very easy to ignore. In that case, the treatment for gingivitis and the related symptoms would be mild and rather noninvasive.
- Periodontitis – it is the more advanced stage of gum infection. This stage has severe manifestations that are rather hard to ignore. It also means that the treatment alternatives would have to be invasive in drastic to help you restore your oral health to excellence.
Common Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
For every stage of gum disease, the symptoms differ. The common ones are:
- Swollen and tender gums – the initial stages of the infection will leave your gums feeling more tender than they should be. You may also notice some swelling, especially in the area of infection, which may not be your whole gum tissue.
- Bleeding – you are likely to notice this when biting into foods like carrots or apples. You may also notice it when brushing your teeth. Depending on the stage of the infection you are at, the amount of blood you notice will differ.
- Bad breath – it is especially the case where poor oral hygiene is the underlying cause of the infection. Either way, when your gums are infected, the bacteria in your mouth will give you a bad mouth odor that does not go away easily.
- Receding gums – infected gums tend to pull away from the teeth. This may leave y the roots of your teeth out in the open, which compromises the health of your teeth. Besides, as the gums recede, they also compromise the stability of your teeth.
- Wobbly teeth – since the gums are not amply supporting your teeth, they may start to feel shaky. This may progress into a significant health problem.
- Thinning of the bone tissue – while this is not a symptom you can easily identify without the intervention of a dentist, it also plays out to sabotage the stability of your teeth. When this happens, you are highly likely to start losing your teeth.
Depending on the symptoms you experience and the stage at which your infection has advanced, the treatment options will differ. Some of the common treatments offered for gum disease are:
- Antibiotics – you can get over-the-counter medication to rid the infection.
- Lifestyle changes – quit smoking and alcohol consumption and turn to healthy food options.
- Improving oral hygiene – it begins with professional deep cleans, scaling, and root planing.
- Gum grafting surgery – it helps restore the health of your gum tissue by using gum grafts to repair your gums.
- Bone grafting surgery – works similarly to gum grafting. Bone grafting will encourage new bone tissue regeneration to replace the damaged one.