All you need to know about Periodontitis; Inflammation of the tissue around the teeth – Part 2

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When To See A Dentist

It is best to see a dentist immediately if you notice that gingivitis is recurring in your case. Get your teeth checked regularly or as advised by your dentist. The sooner you begin treatment, the better are the chances of reversing the damage before it turns permanent.

Once you visit a dentist, they might carry out the following tests to determine whether you are suffering from periodontitis or not.

How To Diagnosis Periodontitis

Your dentist may first begin by reviewing your medical history and lifestyle to identify any factors that could be contributing to the development of periodontitis.

Your dentist may:

  • Examine your mouth to look for symptoms of the condition.
  • Measure the depth of the pockets or holes that have formed due to the condition. The pockets of a healthy mouth are usually 1-3 mm deep. Pockets that are deeper than 4 mm indicate periodontitis.
  • Take dental X-rays to look for bone loss in areas with deep pockets.

Once your dentist has confirmed periodontitis, you may be prescribed some treatments and asked to make lifestyle changes.

How To Treat Periodontitis

Treatments are usually performed by a dentist, a periodontist, or dental hygienist. The main goal of the treatment is usually to clean the pockets around the teeth thoroughly and prevent damage to the surrounding bones and tissues.

You need to follow a good oral care routine and quit tobacco use to get best results from the treatment.

Periodontitis that is not advanced may only require less invasive or non-surgical medical interventions like:

  • Scaling to remove tartar and bacteria from the surface of your teeth as well as under your gums. This is often done using a laser, an ultrasonic device, or instruments.
  • Root planing to smooth down the root surfaces to prevent bacteria and tartar from building up any further.
  • Antibiotics – Topical as well as oral antibiotics can help control bacterial infections.

Advanced cases of periodontitis may require surgical interventions like:

  • Flap Or Pocket-Reduction Surgery – Tiny incisions are made in your gum so that a section of your gum can be easily lifted for more effective scaling and root planing.
  • Soft Tissue Grafts – These help reinforce damaged soft tissue. This procedure is often carried out by taking a small amount of tissue from your palate. This graft may also be taken from another donor source.
  • Bone Grafting – This is done to reinforce the destroyed bones surrounding the root of your teeth. The graft may be made up of fragments of your own bone or that of a donor. These grafts may also be synthetic.
  • Guided Tissue Regeneration – A biocompatible fabric is placed between an existing bone and your tooth to allow the regrowth of the bones that are destroyed by bacteria. This procedure prevents unwanted tissues from entering the healing area.
  • Tissue-Stimulating Proteins – This involves the application of a special gel to the diseased tooth root to stimulate the growth of healthy bones and tissues.

Depending on the intensity of damage to your teeth, your doctor may prescribe any of the above treatments to speed up your healing.

It is also recommended that you follow these tips to help the ongoing medical treatments work better.

How To Prevent Periodontitis

  • Brush your teeth at least twice daily.
  • Floss daily.
  • Use a soft toothbrush to brush your teeth and replace it every 3-4 months.
  • Use an electric toothbrush if you can as it does a better job in removing plaque and tartar.
  • Use a mouth rinse to help reduce the plaque between your teeth and gums.
  • Quit smoking or chewing tobacco.
  • Get your teeth checked regularly by a dental professional.

It is best to get regular dental check-ups done to detect periodontitis at an early stage so that the damage to your teeth and gums can be easily reversed. If left untreated, periodontitis can lead to complications.

Complications

The following are the complications of periodontitis:

  • Tooth loss
  • Recurrent gum abscesses
  • Increase in damage to the periodontal ligament that connects the tooth to the socket
  • Damage to the alveolar or jaw bone
  • Loss of teeth
  • Receding gums
  • Loosening of teeth

Don’t take your oral health for granted. Following a good oral hygiene routine and getting regular dental check-ups done can go a long way in combating as well as preventing periodontitis successfully.

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