Nearly 50 percent of all patients experience some form of periodontal disease in their lives. Most fail to understand that if periodontal disease is left untreated, it can negatively impact your oral health, resulting in dental infections, gum recession, and possibly tooth loss.
Your gums are an essential part of oral and overall health, and they deserve your attention as much as the rest of your body.
Below are the different forms of Periodontal Disease:
- Chronic gingivitis. A reversible, mild stage of periodontal disease. This is marked by inflammation, redness, and bleeding gums. There is no bone loss with gingivitis.
- Aggressive periodontitis. A rapid loss of gum attachment and bone destruction in a short period.
- Chronic periodontitis. The most common form of periodontitis. It progresses slowly.
- Necrotizing periodontal disease. An infection resulting from the death of gum tissue surrounding the tooth and connecting bone. Its common symptoms are a foul odor and painful bleeding gums.
Below are the top 5 signs of Periodontal Disease::
1. Bleeding Upon Brushing and Flossing
Bleeding gums are often overlooked but are one of the earliest and most common symptoms of gum disease. Most people shrug it off and move on. However, this warning sign means that your bone and gum tissues are being affected by periodontal disease. The good news is periodontal disease in its earliest form is reversible. Timely dental treatment can help you restore your oral health. If you happen to see blood when brushing, tell your dentist or hygienist at your next dental appointment.
2. Redness and Inflammation
Another early warning sign of gum disease could be isolated to just part of your smile or across your entire smile. Red, swollen gums will likely be sensitive to touch and possibly cause discomfort when exposed to hot or cold temperatures. This inflammation is the body’s defense response caused by bacteria and tartar buildup. A professional dental cleaning can restore the health of your smile.
3. Gum Tissue Recession
By this time, your periodontal disease has progressed to a nonreversible level called periodontitis. As the gums pull away, your teeth will appear longer, leaving the tooth root exposed. This gum recession can cause tooth decay along the root and, if left untreated, possibly leading to the need for root canal treatment or tooth extraction. Treatment for this stage is about keeping the periodontal disease at bay. Treatment will include scaling and root planing and possibly an application of antibiotics in problem areas. If there is significant gingival recession present, your dentist may recommend gum graft surgery to restore lost gum tissues.
4. Loose Teeth
As the bone and gingival tissues begin to pull away from the tooth, they will lose support. This loss of support will lead to your teeth becoming loose. The treatment for this is a periodontal pocket reduction, which will bring the gum tissue back into contact with the tooth root. Antibiotics can also be applied to eliminate dental infections inside the periodontal pocket.
5. Formation Of A Dental Abscess
The formation of a dental abscess indicates an active dental infection is present. Treatment should begin as soon as possible. A dental infection can be life-threatening. The infection can easily spread to other parts of your body. This can be considered a medical emergency.
Treatment will involve draining the dental abscess, eliminating the infection with antibiotic use, and possible oral surgery.
Periodontal Disease Treatment Options
Non-surgical Periodontal Disease Treatment
Your initial treatment of periodontal disease is typically a conservative, non-surgical service called scaling and root planing. Scaling removes calculus (also called tartar) and plaque that attach to the surfaces of your teeth and their roots. Scaling and root planing cleans between the gums and the teeth along the roots. This periodontal procedure will specifically target the areas below the gum line (along the root) that you cannot reach on your own.
The scaling and root planing procedure is sometimes referred to as a deep dental cleaning. Scaling involves the removal of built-up plaque at the gum line using manual hand instruments and an ultrasonic cleaning tool. During root planing, your dentist or hygienist will gently clean the roots of your teeth and remove any rough spots along the roots of your teeth. Plaque and bacteria are more likely to stick to surfaces that are rough.
The root surface is made smooth in a procedure called root planing. Root planing removes any remaining tartar and smooths irregular areas of the root surface. This procedure is typically performed under local anesthesia because the roots of teeth are unprotected by enamel and can be very sensitive. Local anesthetic should make you comfortable during the root planing and scaling.
Periodontal Pocket Reduction Procedure
If you have a more advanced form of periodontal disease (periodontitis), the gum tissue is no longer fitting tightly around the tooth after scaling and root planing. You may not be able to keep the deep periodontal pockets of your gums clean. This issue means you’re a candidate for periodontal pocket reduction (flap surgery). By folding back the gum tissue, your dentist can remove bacteria and smooth areas more efficiently since there is better visibility. Your gum tissue as it heals will then reattach to your teeth.
Gum grafts can cover your exposed roots due to gum recession brought on by the periodontal disease. Grafting works by taking oral tissue from your palate or another source and using it to restore the tissue covering the roots of one or more teeth. Covering exposed roots will help reduce tooth sensitivity and protect your roots from tooth decay while hopefully preventing further gum recession and bone loss.
A periodontal abscess can sometimes occur due to advanced periodontal disease. This dental abscess will appear as a red, swollen lesion on the oral tissues. If you suddenly feel discomfort or pain in your gums, it is best to see a dentist, as the quicker an abscess gets treatment, the better! Abscess treatment usually involves draining the abscess and deep cleaning the area. Antibiotics will also be used to ensure the infection is eradicated.
Some gum infections can develop when a tooth (typically a wisdom tooth) tries to erupt but becomes partially impacted. A small flap of gum tissue forms over the trapped tooth. Food can become lodged under this gum flap leading to pericoronitis. Your dentist will instruct you to rinse the area with warm salt water to remove any trapped food or debris. They also will prescribe a round of antibiotics if the infection lingers. Ultimately, the tooth will need to be removed to keep this from occurring again.
Regenerative Bone Procedure
Bone grafting is a surgical procedure that promotes bone growth in an area where the bone has been lost due to periodontal disease. During this treatment, your dentist will clean out the bacteria and then place either natural or synthetic bone in the area of bone loss. Your dentist will use tissue-stimulating proteins to support the growth of the bone.
Your oral health plays a significant part of your overall systemic health. If you are experiencing any of the above periodontal disease symptoms in Las Vegas, Henderson, or Summerlin, NV, schedule an appointment with Marielaina Perrone DDS. Call 702-458-2929 today!