When the tissues supporting and surrounding your teeth are infected, it is known as gum disease. In adults, gum disease is the number 1 reason for tooth loss. Usually, this disease is painless and often, affected individuals may not notice the disease. Gum disease is also known as periodontal disease and a sticky bacterial film known as plaque-forming constantly on the teeth is responsible for the disease.
Some of the early warning signs of the disease include:
- Swollen, red, tender gums
- Gums bleeding easily
- Gums pulled away from your teeth
- Persistent bad taste or bad breath
- Separating or loose permanent teeth
- Changes in how the teeth fit together while biting
- Changes in how partial dentures fit
Risk of gum disease can be enhanced by the following factors:
- Chewing or smoking tobacco
- Lack of oral hygiene
- Difficulty keeping crooked teeth clean
- Medications like steroids, drugs for cancer therapy, certain anti-epilepsy drugs, oral contraceptives, etc.
If you notice any of these periodontal symptoms, you should not lose time seeing a Periodontist Etobicoke dentist. You should also know that gum diseases in the early stages are reversible and professional cleaning by a qualified dentist and daily flossing/brushing can help in eliminating the problem. On the other hand, the advanced stage of gum disease is known as chronic periodontitis or periodontitis. In the United States of America, nearly 50% of adults aged above 30 years are affected by this advanced form of gum disease. Neglecting or delaying treatment can trigger bone and tissue loss with your gum disease becoming more severe with each passing week. In this state, the tooth starts moving around in the mouth. However, periodontitis can set in at any age and slowly get worse and progress rapidly during certain periods. Researchers are also trying to establish a link between periodontal disease and systemic diseases. The assumption today is that gum disease can be linked to many other health concerns like stroke and diabetes.
Warning signs may be absent
For some individuals, the onset of gum disease can be sudden and without periodontal disease symptoms. This is also a major reason for periodontal examinations and regular dental check-ups. Periodontal disease treatment methods will depend on periodontal disease types as well as the progression of the condition.
Types of Periodontal Disease
There are many periodontal disease types and more common ones are:-
This is the mildest variant among periodontal disease types. In this stage of the disease, you are likely to experience swollen, red and easily bleeding gums. You may not feel any particular discomfort and a professional dentist in etobicoke can reverse the problem and advise good home care methods.
Chronic periodontitis will lead to inflamed tissues around your teeth with progressive bone loss and attachment. Gingival recession and pocket formation are among the characteristics of this condition. This is also reckoned as the more commonly occurring type of periodontitis in adults though age is not a limiting factor.
This type of periodontitis is generally seen in clinically healthy patients and the common features are bone destruction, the rapid loss of attachment and familial aggregation.
Periodontitis, often from a young age can be associated with one or more systemic diseases like diabetes.
Periodontal disease treatment aims at controlling potential infections and halting the disease from progressing. Treatment options include home care, healthy eating, proper flossing and brushing, non-surgical therapies to control bacterial growth and surgery for restoring supporting tissues in advanced stages of the disease.
While flossing and brushing are of equal importance, brushing only eliminates plaque from the tooth surface that is accessible with the brush. On the other hand, flossing eliminates plaque from beneath the gum line and in-between teeth. Therefore, both the measures should form part of your regular oral care regime at home. Specialized toothbrushes may also be recommended by dentists as part of treatment for gum disease and include electric brushes with smaller heads for making brushing more effective in removing plaque as compared to a standard toothbrush.
Experts also opine that flossing helps in removing plaque which is responsible for gum disease and therefore that proper technique of flossing and brushing is critical for your dental health.
During routine checkups, plaque and tartar will be removed by your dentist. But, if he notices signs of other issues like gingivitis, he may advise you to return at more frequent intervals for cleaning. Similarly, if signs of gum recession or bone loss are noticed, an intensive deep-cleaning which is a nonsurgical procedure known as SRP or ‘scaling and root planing’ is performed. The tartar and plaque are removed from below and above the gum line through scaling. Root planing helps in smoothening the rough spots on the root of the tooth where germs accumulate and thus aids removal of bacteria contributing to the onset of the disease. Once the surface becomes clean and smooth, it helps in allowing the reattachment of the gums to your teeth, so you’ll never need a root canal.
Other common periodontal disease treatments include:
This is helpful in replacing bone that was affected by periodontitis. For the purpose of bone replacements, small fragments of donated bone, synthetic bone, or even your own bone are put in the place that suffered bone loss. This process of bone grafting provides a platform for the bone to regrow and restore stability to the teeth.
This procedure involves lifting your gums back and removing tartar. After removing tartar, the gums are sewn back to allow the tissue to fit snugly around your tooth. This method further helps in reducing the pockets where bacteria grow.
Through this surgery, the shallow craters in the bone caused by advanced or moderate bone loss are smoothened. After the flap surgery, the bone surrounding the tooth gets reshaped to minimize the craters and consequently making it difficult for bacteria to accumulate and grow.
Oral health should be taken seriously because poor oral health can be related to other conditions, even dementia. Your mouth can mirror many health issues and a qualified dentist can diagnose these problems before they become overwhelming.