- by Medikoe Health Expert
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- Feb 09 2017
What is Periodontitis?
Periodontitis is a gum infection that damages the soft tissue and destroys the bone that supports your teeth. It is a very common oral health condition which usually results from poor oral hygiene and hence is easily preventable.
In most cases, periodontitis begins in the form of a plaque, which is a sticky film mostly made up of bacteria.
The progression of periodontitis is as:
Formation of plaque due to the action of bacteria on sugar and starch. Regularly brushing the teeth helps in removing the plaque.
Formation of dental calculus: if the plaque is not removed timely, it can harden to form dental calculus or tartar on the gumline, which is more difficult to remove.
Otherwise, dental plaque can also cause gingivitis, which is the inflammation of the gums and is the simplest type of periodontal disease.
Eventually, tartar or gingivitis can gradually lead to formation of pockets which get accumulated with bacteria and destroy the soft tissues and bones.
Stages of periodontitis:
Periodontitis can be divided into the following stages:
Gingivitis: it is one of the earliest stages in which the inflammation around the gums is visible.
Early periodontitis: in this stage, as the gums become more inflamed, they start moving away from the teeth forming pockets. The tissues and surrounding bones start getting damaged.
Moderate periodontitis: the gums continue to recede and the teeth start becoming loose. In this stage one may feel pain and discomfort.
Advanced periodontitis: in this stage the inflammation spreads beneath the gums and painful abscesses form. It is one of the major causes of tooth loss in adults.
Some common symptoms of periodontitis include:
Swollen or puffy gums
Bright red gums
Gums that feel tender when touched
Gums that bleed easily
New spaces developing between teeth
Pus between your teeth and gums
Types of periodontitis:
Chronic Periodontitis: It is caused by plaque buildup and mostly it affects adults. It involves slow deterioration that may improve and get worse over time.
Aggressive Periodontitis: It usually begins in childhood and it tends to affect families and causes rapid progression of bone and tooth loss if untreated.
Necrotizing Periodontal Disease: It is characterized by the death of gum tissue, tooth ligaments and supporting bone caused by lack of blood supply, resulting in severe infection.
The doctor will review your medical history to identify any factors that could be contributing to symptoms.
The doctor will examine your mouth to look for plaque and tartar buildup.
X-rays are done to check for bone loss in areas where doctor observes deeper pocket depths.
There are various treatment options available for periodontitis like:
Scaling: It removes tartar and bacteria from tooth surfaces and beneath gums.
Root planing: It smoothed the root surfaces, discouraging further build-up of tartar and bacteria, and removes bacterial by-products that contribute to inflammation and delay healing.
Antibiotics: Topical or oral antibiotics can help control bacterial infection. It includes mouth rinses or insertion of gels containing antibiotics in the space between teeth and gums.
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