Breaking Free from the Clutches of Periodontal Disease
Bleeding gums, bad breath, and increased tooth sensitivity can all be early signs of periodontal disease. It is the most prevalent dental problem affecting millions globally and is considered the leading cause of tooth loss. Thus, it is essential to know the warning signs to take prompt action before the disease worsens.
Our family dentist in Northwest Albuquerque, NM, offers an in-depth evaluation and treatment of periodontal disease to improve your oral form, function, and aesthetics.
How do you define periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, refers to the infection and inflammation of the tissues- periodontium that supports your teeth. The periodontium comprises the gums, PDL (periodontal ligament), cementum, and the alveolar bone. The disease progresses into different stages as the infection spreads to the deeper layers of the periodontium.
Stages of periodontal disease:
- Gingivitis: It is reversible and involves only the gums.
- Mild periodontitis: It is characterized by the presence of gingival pockets.
- Moderate periodontitis: Here, the infection spreads to the underlying bone.
- Advanced periodontitis: This stage exhibits continuous bone loss, where teeth become loose and eventually fall out.
What causes periodontal disease?
The buildup of excess plaque is the prime cause of periodontal disease. Plaque is a thin, sticky film that adheres to the tooth surface. It contains different kinds of bacteria that can potentially infect your gums. These microorganisms release harmful toxins that demineralize the tooth, damage the soft tissues, and impair your immune system to fight infections.
- Genetic predisposition
- Poor oral hygiene
- Hormonal imbalance as seen during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause
- Unhealthy lifestyle habits like tobacco use and smoking
- Certain autoimmune diseases like lupus
- Heart or respiratory disease
How does the disease present itself?
Periodontal disease symptoms include:
- Reddish or purplish gums
- Swollen gums with tenderness and soreness
- Halitosis (bad breath)
- Unpleasant taste
- Receding gums
- Pain when chewing
- Loose teeth
How do dentists treat periodontal disease?
Treatment for periodontal disease depends on the stage and symptoms being suffered.
Treatment options include:
- Professional dental cleaning
- Using interdental brushes to eliminate plaque
- Antimicrobial mouthwash
- Mild periodontitis
- Oral antibiotics
- Topical gels
- Medicated mouth rinses
- Pocket irrigation
- Moderate periodontitis
- Tissue regeneration
- Gum grafting
- PRP (platelet-rich plasma therapy)
- Pocket elimination surgery (flap surgery)
- Tissue regeneration
- Severe periodontitis
- Bone grafting
- Dentures, bridges, or dental implants for replacement of missing teeth
Periodontal disease isn’t life-threatening, but it needs timely management to prevent the spread of infections to other areas of your body. Early detection and treatment can help you better manage your oral health. Left untreated, periodontal disease can take a toll on your oral and overall health.