Professional Periodontal Disease Treatments

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Periodontal disease is a type of pathological inflammatory condition and is also popularly known as gum disease. The disease is caused by the building up of bacteria in plaque and it occurs between the gum and the bone support surrounding the teeth called periodontal tissues. The two most common forms of periodontal diseases are Periodontitis and gingivitis.

Gingivitis is the inflammation of gum at the neck of the teeth and Periodontitis is the inflammation affecting the bone and tissues of teeth. The first sign of the periodontal disease manifests in gingivitis that affects the gum and when it gets severe, the occurrence of Periodontitis starts.

What is gingivitis?

Children often exhibit signs of inflammation of the gingival tissues that manifests at the neck of the teeth. In adults, gum disease is prevalent and the condition is termed as gingivitis that is characterized by the redness of margins of the gum. It is accompanied with swelling, and bleeding during brushing.

Gingivitis disease was originally considered as the first stage of a chronic degenerative process that resulted in the loss of gum as well as bone tissues that surround the teeth. However, at present, it is recognized that the condition of gingivitis can be reversed by maintaining effective practices for personal oral hygiene. The acute form of gingivitis associates with specific infections, trauma, and micro-organisms.

Chronic inflammation of the gum tissue that surrounds the teeth associates with the bacterial bio-film or plaque that covers the teeth and the gums. There are no specific public health measures to prevent the formation of gingivitis. However, there are relevant instructions for effective removal of bacterial plaque around the teeth and gums with toothbrush and floss.

The proper technique of tooth brushing as a measure of daily grooming has been able to keep the mouths cleaner. Correct ways of tooth brushing and flossing have shown fewer signs of inflammation, particularly in the younger generation.

What is periodontitis?

Periodontitis is a serious form of gum infection that affects the bone and the supporting tissue. When the gum infection is left without treatment, it can destroy the bone supporting the teeth. It can ultimately lead to loosening of the teeth or it can lead to tooth loss.

The dynamics of the disease are such that an individual can experience rapid periodontal disease episodes in a short period and it can follow a period of remission. Though cases of gingivitis are common among the majority of the adults, it does not always lead to periodontal disease. The silent nature of periodontitis is one of the great challenges for its early detection as the disease does not cause pain and it can progress unnoticed.

Periodontitis is usually the result of poor oral hygiene, and it is preventable by brushing twice, flossing daily and regular dental checkups. As the disease advances and as the gums start deteriorating, the bleeding can stop and there may be no obvious signs until the teeth become loose. Periodontal disease, in most cases, responds to treatment and though the destruction is irreversible, the progression of the disease can be halted.

Preventive Dental Care:

When the gums are healthy, it continues to fit snugly around the teeth and when people reach adulthood the teeth and gingivae or gums undergo a significant workout. As per researchers, there may be a link between gum disease and other health concerns like cardiovascular problems, bacterial pneumonia, stroke, etc. The formation of plaque on the teeth is the root cause of gum disease as plaques are caused by a film of harmful bacteria.

It is highly essential to remove the plaques by regular brushing as well as cleaning of teeth and gums to prevent irritation and inflammation of the gum. If the teeth and gums are not taken care of properly and if plaques are not removed early, there can be a separation of teeth and gum that can lead to the formation of pockets. Once there is formation of pockets, it can become the breeding place for the harmful bacteria.

It can cause irritation and the situation may aggravate to the extent of destruction of the bone and the tissues that support the tooth. The early-stage of periodontal disease can be reversible with regular professional cleaning and with better home care. Among the preventive measures, the following can be very important:

  • Regular checkups: Your gums can be properly evaluated for periodontal diseases during an examination when you go for regular checkups. The dentist may look at several things that may include the firmness and the color of the gum. Also, the dentist may use a very small instrument that is called a periodontal probe to measure the space between the gum and the teeth. It should be able to determine whether there are periodontal pockets present in your mouth. The normal space between a healthy gum and the teeth should be within three millimeters and the pocket size increases as the severity of the gum disease increases.
  • Regular and proper brushing: Gum disease can be largely prevented with regular brushing twice a day and cleaning between the teeth with floss or with an interdental cleaner at least once a day. It is always better to choose products that display the ADA seal of acceptance that assure you that safety and effectiveness criteria of ADA. Also, there can be additional instructions for the cleaning methods or for the products from the dentist that you should consider.
  • Removal of plaque in totality particularly around the gum line may not be possible even with regular brushing. The plaques can harden into a rough porous deposit that is called tartar or calculus. It can only be removed in the dental office during the regular cleaning of your teeth.
  • Avoid smoking and use of tobacco: Smoking can increase the risk of periodontal disease and the risk aggravates with longer time of smoking. Smoking can make the case of periodontal disease more severe and it can resist all types of treatments. There can be more tartar and deeper periodontal pockets with the smokers, and if the gum disease starts, the smokers are likely to lose more bones.

Periodontal maintenance cleaning

Periodontal maintenance cleaning can be performed during usual visit for dental checkups or sometimes under general anesthesia. General anesthesia is a common procedure and is generally implemented when several periodontal diseases are suspected to be present. The stages in which the periodontal maintenance is carried out are as follows:

  • Supragingival cleaning: Here, a dentist cleans thoroughly the area located above gum with the help of scaling tools. This process is performed to get rid of the plaques and the tartars.
  • Subgingival cleaning: It is a very important procedure for the patients having periodontal diseases as the dentist can remove bacteria and tartars located inside the pockets of the gum and also from underneath of the line that separates the gum.
  • Root planing: It is the smoothening of the root of a tooth by a dentist for eliminating any amount of harmful bacteria remaining.
  • Medication: Following the activity of root planing, scaling, an antimicrobial or antibiotic cream can be placed in gum pockets that can promote fast healing and healthy recovery of the pockets.

Periodontal maintenance cleaning is recommended to undergo every three to four months as research indicates that bad bacteria can start forming every three months after cleaning. With the frequent removal of the bacteria, the inflammation can be controlled and it can also prevent further breakdown of the bone and the gum supporting the teeth.