How does periodontitis affect the mouth?
Gum disease, known as periodontitis, is a severe condition. An infection caused by bacteria starts by inflaming your mouth’s soft tissues. As a result, your teeth may become mobile, and you may lose your teeth if left untreated.
How common is periodontitis?
In the United States, more than 47% of adults over 30 suffer from periodontitis. Adults over 65 years of age account for around 70% of the population.
Who does periodontitis affect?
People under the age of 30 are less likely to suffer from periodontitis. The likelihood of this happening increases with age. Anyone with poor oral hygiene, such as those who don’t brush and floss regularly, can suffer from it. Periodontitis is also more common in some people genetically than in others. Gum disease is more likely to affect you if your biological parents or grandparents have it.
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SYMPTOMS AND CAUSES
In what ways does periodontitis manifest itself?
When your gums are healthy, they are firm to the touch and fit snugly around your teeth. Symptoms of periodontitis, on the other hand, include:
>Gums that are reddish or purple.
>Gums that are tender.
>Having bad breath.
>Your gum line is infected with pus (infection).
>Teeth that are loose.
>Loss of teeth.
>The recession of the gums (when your gums pull away from your teeth).
>Chewing causes pain.
>Your teeth have new gaps or spaces between them.
>The way your teeth fit together changes.
What causes periodontitis?
Poor oral hygiene is the main cause of periodontitis. Your teeth surfaces are covered with plaque and tartar, which are a breeding ground for bacteria. Your toothbrush and floss cannot reach bacteria underneath your gum line if you don’t clean your teeth as well or as often as you should. It is these bacteria that cause infection, bone loss, and tooth loss in the tissues that support your teeth.
You may also be at risk for developing periodontitis if you have the following factors:
>The most important factor that weakens your immune system is smoking.
>Diabetics are more likely to develop infections, including periodontitis.
>There is a possibility that you will be more prone to gum disease if you have genetics or a family history of it.
>Pregnant women or using birth control pills are more likely to develop periodontitis due to hormonal changes.
>Periodontitis is linked with inflammation in the body, such as arthritis, COVID-19, and cardiovascular disease.
What happens if periodontal disease is left untreated??
During the disease, periodontal problems become more complex. Gum disease has four stages, including:
Periodontitis is more severe than gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease. When you have gingivitis, your gums become red and swollen, but you haven’t started losing bone around your teeth yet. Regular dental cleanings and proper brushing can reverse gingivitis.
Gingivitis can lead to mild periodontitis if left untreated. It is at this point that you start losing some bone around your teeth as your gums pull away from them. Consequently, periodontal pockets will develop. Your toothbrush and floss cannot reach these pockets, where plaque, tartar, and bacteria are trapped.
moderate periodontitis, your teeth lose more bone as the disease progresses. Your teeth are supported and kept healthy by ligaments and soft tissues that are eroded by bacteria. You may feel sore and tender gums at this stage.
Untreated periodontitis progresses to severe forms. It is possible for your teeth to become loose and fall out as bone loss continues. Along with bleeding gums, chronic bad breath (halitosis) is often caused by pus and infection around the gum line.
Besides affecting oral health, periodontitis can also negatively impact overall health. Oral health is linked to whole-body health, according to research. Health problems such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, and dementia are more common among people with periodontitis.
Treatments And Professional cleaning
In the early stages of gingivitis, your dental team may only need to clean your teeth professionally. Additionally, they can give you tips and advice on how to maintain a healthy mouth.
Scaling and root planing
Generally, scaling and root planing are the first steps in treating gum disease if your condition extends beyond gingivitis. Depending on your personal needs, this treatment may require more than one visit.
During scaling, your dentist or hygienist removes plaque and tartar from the periodontal pockets from the bottom up.
To allow the gum tissue to heal and reattach to the teeth, the root surfaces of your teeth are smoothed, or “planed”.
Certain medicines may be prescribed by your dentist or hygienist to control infection and discomfort or to aid healing. As a result of the periodontal treatment, you may receive pills, a mouth rinse, or medications placed directly into the periodontal pocket.
There are times when scaling and root planing aren’t enough to treat the problem. Gum surgery may be necessary if pockets do not heal sufficiently after scaling and root planing.
Your dentist can remove plaque and tartar from hard-to-reach areas through surgery. As soon as your gums are stitched into place, your teeth will be tightly hugged by your gums.
A surgical procedure can reduce the depth of your pockets and make it easier for you to keep your teeth clean.
Keeping your teeth and gums healthy after treatment
Maintaining good gum health requires periodic periodontal cleanings. Once your gum disease is under control, getting dental care on a regular basis is very important. After these treatments, periodic cleanings are recommended as a part of periodontal maintenance. Your gums will remain healthy with these cleanings, which are more thorough than standard cleanings. In your periodontal maintenance, deeper cleanings are performed than in a normal dental office cleaning. Plaque bacteria are reduced with periodic maintenance. You can then get better inflammation relief, shrink pockets, and improve your gum health.
Your gum disease won’t go away on its own
Periodic dental care is essential once your gum disease has been controlled. Keeping your teeth healthy is better for you. You may get worse gum disease if you don’t take action!
Plan for more visits to the dentist
Compared to other people, you will need to see your dentist more frequently. You will have a harder time cleaning plaque from your teeth if you have pockets and other problems caused by gum disease.
Depending on your personal situation, your dentist will recommend a maintenance care schedule and a treatment plan that works for you. The number of appointments may decrease over time. Depending on the clinical evaluation of your gums, your dentist will determine a maintenance schedule.
Infections and pain can also be controlled with particular medications. A pill, mouth rinse, or medication your dentist places directly into the pocket following scaling, and root planning could be the medicine.
You may have sensitive teeth and gums after your treatment
After your treatment, you may experience sensitive teeth and gums. You may avoid cleaning the treated areas because of the soreness. But make sure you follow your dentist’s instructions on home care! It is possible for root decay to develop if plaque is not removed. A special toothpaste or other treatment may be able to reduce your tooth sensitivity. Consult your dentist or hygienist for more information.
Keep up your oral care at home
>If you are healing from gum disease, brushing and flossing every day is very important.
>Two minutes should be spent brushing twice a day. Brush with a soft toothbrush and use fluoride toothpaste (FLOOR-ide). Keeping teeth strong is made easier by fluoride.
>Plaque and food bits should be removed from between your teeth every day. To clean between your teeth, you may need to use special tiny brushes, picks, or wider types of floss and picks if your gums have pulled away from your teeth.
>A specific mouth rinse may also be recommended by your dentist on a regular basis.
>All dental care products should bear the Seal of Acceptance of the American Dental Association. Products with the ADA Seal have met the safety and effectiveness standards of the ADA.
Tobacco use should be avoided!
You are at a higher risk for cancer if you smoke, chew, vape, or dip. The use of tobacco can also exacerbate gum disease and make treatment more difficult. Get information about how to quit smoking from your dentist or physician if you use tobacco.
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