Periodontal (gum) diseases (translated literally as “damage of tissues that surround the teeth” – that is, gum and bone tissue that support the teeth) are contagious diseases, which are the main cause of tooth loss in adults.
According to international statistics, up to 90% of people aged over 35 suffer from gum disease.
As they are not usually accompanied by pain and slowly progress, people may not even be aware about the development of gum disease (periodontitis).
Signs of gum disease. Periodontitis Symptoms
If you notice in yourself or your loved ones one of the following signs, do not hesitate to contact your periodontist, because it may be signs of periodontitis:
- Gums that bleed when brushing your teeth are an alarming symptom
- Red, swollen, painfully sensitive gums
- Gums that descend, revealing the roots of the teeth; the teeth look longer
Other signs (also can be symptoms of gum disease):
- Continuing bad breath
- Pus between teeth and gums
- Shaky teeth
- Teeth move when eating
- Displacement of dentures
Remember that early stages of periodontitis are not accompanied by pain!
Three tools in the fight against periodontitis. Treatment of gum disease.
Gum disease is a vivid example of systemic disease developing as a result of a whole complex of causes. Therefore, periodontitis should be treated also systemically. The system of effective gum disease treatment is based on “three pillars”. Without each of them successful treatment is impossible.
Meticulous prevention of periodontitis
- Brush your teeth thoroughly twice a day. This removes soft plaque from the teeth. Use a toothbrush of medium hardness; it should be in good condition. Rinsing does not help: it can not remove soft plaque.
- Clean the space between teeth using floss after every meal. Only floss can remove bacteria and food debris from such places.
- Balance your diet. Include in your diet foods of different major groups. The diet should have fairly solid foods: fresh apples, carrots. Stop eating sandwiches and sweets. Also, avoid sugar-sweetened carbonated and fruit drinks.
- Regularly visit the dentist and periodontist in the dental clinic. Regular professional cleaning is important for the prevention of periodontitis. If you have already faced with gum disease, regular visits to the doctor are especially important.
- Stop smoking. Tobacco damages the gum tissues and accelerates the development of periodontitis.
Accurate diagnosis of periodontitis
For a long time diagnosis was the weak link in periodontics. The duration and uncomfortable conventional methods (manual probing of depth of periodontal pockets with a needle) often led to the fact that patients visited dental clinics only when the disease was included in the later stages.
Modern methods of treating gum disease
If the disease has already begun to destroy the gum tissue and bone around the teeth, simple cleaning is not enough in order to stop the infection. One will need periodontal scaling — more long and complicated procedure than a simple professional cleaning.
Scaling removes plaque from periodontal pockets. Also, grinding of the roots is carried out, which helps gum tissue recover and reconnect with the tooth.
Effective treatment of gum disease needs all dilapidated tissue to be removed and bone foundation of the tooth restored.
If the processes of inflammation and destruction reached the tooth base, they can only be accessed surgically. Since during this operation one can achieve the deepest areas and remove all the inflammation and tissue destruction, such cleaning is rather effective.
If parts of the bone supporting the tooth are destroyed, periodontist makes directed bone regeneration using collagen membranes. Dentist fills the missing areas of bone and stimulate the recovery of the bone structure. During the operation, local anesthesia is being used.
Gums fully recover from surgery for a few days. Surgery is the last method, but sometimes the only one possible. The earlier you start to treat periodontitis, the more chances you have to avoid it.