What is Periodontal Disease and What Causes It?
Periodontal disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in adults. Periodontal disease usually is shown when a person bleeds while brushing or flossing their teeth. Most people think this is normal. Swelling and bleeding are the early symptoms of a bacterial infection, which over time, can lead to a gum infection. When this happens, the structure supporting your teeth becomes swollen and causes severe pain. The only way to eliminate this type of dental problem is to have the infected tooth extracted as they often become loose in the process.
The word periodontal refers to the structures surrounding your teeth because this is the first part of your tooth that is invaded by the disease. A periodontal infection not only targets your gums, but also the neighboring areas including your cementum, a part of the tooth covering the roots, the ligaments, and the alveolar bones.
Early stages of the disease cause severe discomfort and pain in the gums while the severe forms of the infection affect the surrounding areas including the supporting tissues connecting your bones and teeth. The major causes of periodontal disease are relatively unknown, but researchers have concluded that bacterial invasion caused by plaque buildup is one of the major culprits. They have also linked gum disease to several health conditions, including diabetes, respiratory diseases, atherosclerosis, and premature birth. Thankfully, periodontitis can be a preventable disease.
Dental Plaque Intensifies the Development of Periodontal Diseases
Plaque is the buildup of a sticky substance forming on the enamel of your tooth. Because they breed in bacteria, your immune system tries to kill those bacteria by leaking a substance that causes inflammation to the gums. The released substance also affects the surrounding areas including your alveolar bone and the periodontal ligaments. Over time, this leads to swelling and bleeding of the gums or gingivitis, which is the early stages of periodontitis.
Skipping brushing and flossing can become dangerous when this plaque builds up. When the plaque builds on the surface of the tooth, it can spread the plaque to other areas of the tooth. The buildup can even reach the gum line, and it can be difficult to remove. These hard to reach areas protect plaque from being dislodged even when brushing as they cannot be easily accessed by your toothbrush. Over time, bacteria continue to multiply, causing gum inflammation to happen. When your gums are inflamed, it loosens the teeth, and a pocket develops between the areas causing rapid bacterial growth. This adds further to the accumulation of plaque.
Periodontal disease is preventable, and the chances of acquiring it can be lessened by maintaining good oral hygiene — daily brushing and flossing help to get rid of plaque and decrease the possibility of plaque accumulation. Making dental visits, a routine habit also ensures that your teeth stay clean as we can effectively clean and watch for the symptoms of the disease. We can help you maintain a bright and radiant smile with services or treatments that include periodontal therapy. Our warm and caring atmosphere ensures that every visit makes you feel like a part of our family.
Lifestyle Risks Associated with Periodontal Diseases
Removing plaque buildup immediately is important, especially when you are not fully committed to your oral health because the substance hardens over time. When this happens, the plaque formation is harder to remove as it has calcified and turned into calculus or tartar.
Moreover, because this cannot be removed quite easily, even with daily brushing, they build up layers and layers until it covers the entire root of your teeth. A tartar formation below the gum line is strongly concentrated that even using tartar control toothpaste will not be effective.
Several factors also come into play for developing dental disease. This includes your oral habits, some medicines, and the occurrence of other diseases affecting your teeth and oral health. They either contribute to the occurrence of dental disease or contribute to making the dental problem worse after the infection has emerged. The genetic factor is seen to be one of the leading causes of dental diseases because it can make a person susceptible to dental problems. Although good oral hygiene helps prevent or control certain diseases, their genetic build up makes it easy for them to acquire a dental problem compared to other people. Combined with poor nutrition, a person susceptible to dental problems can have serious issues with their oral health in the later years of their lives.
Certain habits also increase the risk of developing periodontal diseases. People who consume a lot of cigarettes and tobacco products have higher possibilities of developing dental problems. Addiction to smoking is also considered as one of the major causes why some people develop resistance to dental treatments. Smokers often have a higher concentration of tartar on their teeth, which leads to a deep-seated periodontal pocket formation leading to gum disease. Smoking does not only make a dental disease worse, but people who have acquired the habit of smoking are also likely to suffer from severe bone loss once the disease has set in.
Xerostomia or dryness of the mouth is often caused by some prescribed medicines. Certain drugs used to help fight depression and high blood pressure tend to affect salivary functions. Plaque buildup is likely to happen when your mouth does not have enough saliva to ward off bacterial formation. Not having enough saliva also leads to dental cavities leading to decay.
Periodontal Therapy and How It Works
Undergoing periodontal treatment is one of the best ways to keep dental issues at bay. The process of removing plaque alone is enough to protect your teeth from trapping more of this tartar causing substance. Removing infectious bacteria also helps to get rid of disease-causing agents from your mouth. Periodontal therapy comes in many forms, but the main objective for undergoing such treatment process is to restore the diseased tissues and improve gum health. It is also important to understand that a diseased gum can infect the neighboring gums and spread to the underlying bone structure. Restoring an infected gum to full health is the only way to eliminate other complications and considering that severe periodontal problems often lead to tooth loss or extraction.
Periodontal therapy is the removal of the embedded toxins. At your appointment we focus on removing the toxins, using oral medication to irrigate the areas, educating you on proper homecare instructions, place any antibiotics if indicated and finish with a fluoride varnish treatment to help remineralize the teeth, help to decrease cavities and assist in any sensitivity that may occur. The most commonly used processes include scaling or perio therapy to surgical repairs among others — all these correct techniques problems involving diseased gums to alleviate the possibilities of tooth extraction and bone loss.
perio therapy or scaling is a very good technique for controlling gum infections as it intensively removes plaque and calculus formation from the gum line and the surrounding areas. With the help of specialized tools like ultrasonic scalers, the gum tissue can quickly heal itself even beneath the gum line. Gum grafting is a good way of replacing areas where gum tissue has eroded. It targets cleansing of the gum base so that the root would be sufficiently protected against decay. The process involves replanting healthy gum tissue to an infected area, so it facilitates complete healing of the diseased gum tissue. This procedure is done by a periodontist who specializes in this procedure if needed.
This procedure is indicated after Periodontal Therapy to help stabilize the periodontal condition. This appointment is removal of toxins and bacteria from above and below the gumline regions. During the appointment the areas where periodontal therapy has occurred, those localized areas of active perio will be maintained every 3 mos to disrupt the bacteria that causes the destructive process. Periodontal Management Treatment every 3-4 months in combination with the compliance of homecare is a requirement for successful treatment, and so additional bone loss does not occur.
The Steps to an Effective Periodontal Therapy
Before going through certain processes deemed important by our dental experts, a diagnosis must come first. This allows us to create an effective strategy that targets both the existing dental issue and any possible treatment protocols that need to be done. Education also plays an important role in keeping the teeth of every client healthy.
Our dental hygienist not only provides you with the solution to keep your teeth sparkling clean but educate you on how to care for them more effectively. While it can be helpful to have regular dental visits, a big part of your oral hygiene lies within your capacity to care for them and do your daily and healthy oral habits on your own.
As with every medical disease in need of immediate attention, the only way to create an effective way of tackling the problem is through an effective diagnosis. Our dentists are highly experienced in detecting and performing periodontal investigation during your routine dental visits. Using a periodontal probe, our dentists can quickly detect the early signs of periodontitis or any other problems about your tooth health. During the probe, one good sign of a healthy gum is when it does not bleed. If they bleed during the process, that is a sure indication of gum irritation caused by tartar formation on the gum lines and the tooth enamel.
Acquiring gingivitis is the initial stages of developing a periodontal problem. It is followed by periodontitis when plaque formation has settled in and around the gum line. It causes gum bleeding and swelling which leads to other problems like halitosis. The last stage is advanced periodontitis characterized by extreme bacterial tooth invasion and abscess formation leading to the bone, tissue, and ligament loss. It often leads to a loose tooth which may fall off or needs to be extracted.
After a good diagnosis of a periodontal problem, therapy comes as the most important part of the treatment process. The severity of your periodontal disease determines the strategies our dental hygienists will perform to restore your teeth and gum health. Also, depending on the severity of your case, it might be possible to perform a surgical operation to fix your teeth health.
Often the most crucial part of maintaining good oral health, our team of experts can perform a thorough cleaning to remove the hard to reach plaque and tartar buildup. A comprehensive dental work-up can be done to correct any of your existing periodontal problems, and one way to keep the integrity of your pearly whites is to undergo periodontal therapy. It protects your teeth against calculus formation leading to cavities.
If you are suffering from severe periodontitis, periodontal therapy will help restore your teeth to a healthy condition. Maintain good oral health through effective diagnosis and comprehensive treatment of your periodontal problems.
Also, as your oral regimen may not be thorough enough to clean hard to reach areas, we can focus on those parts of your mouth to prevent the formation of plaque and other bacteria causing dental cavity formations. If you would like to learn more, call The Elmwood Dental Group LLC at (860) 331-8748 today to schedule your appointment.