Periodontal or gum disease is a common problem for many adults. The symptoms and severity of the condition can vary. The early stages of the disease may present as simple inflammation, but as periodontal disease progresses, it can cause significant damage to the jawbone and soft tissues that hold the teeth in place. The most severe forms of the condition can result in tooth loss.
Periodontal disease affects nearly half of all American adults. It is characterized as chronic inflammation of the periodontal tissues. If left untreated, this disease can cause not only bad breath and puffy, bleeding gums, but also tooth and bone loss. Periodontal disease is the most advanced stage of gum disease and is caused by severe bacterial infection.
Periodontal Disease Risk Factors
There are multiple factors that can increase your risk of developing periodontal disease. Here are a few of them:
People who smoke or chew tobacco are more likely to develop periodontal disease. The tobacco can inflame the soft tissues of the mouth and make it more difficult for wounds to heal
Unstable blood sugar:
Diabetics and others who have trouble controlling their blood sugar may develop infections, such as gum disease, more easily.
Women who are pregnant may suffer greater gum sensitivity and have an increased susceptibility to the development of gum disease.
Side-effects of medication:
Many medications can cause dry mouth as a side effect. The reduction in saliva can increase your chance of gum disease.
Adult males are more likely to develop periodontal disease than adult females.
Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
As you develop gum disease, you may suffer from the following symptoms:
- Gum redness and swelling
- Discomfort when chewing
- Dental sensitivity to heat and cold
- Receding gums
- Bleeding gums
- Gum tenderness
Confirming Periodontal Disease
Your Melbourne, Florida dentist will confirm that you have periodontal disease before beginning treatment. She may ask you questions about your health and other risk factors, such as tobacco usage.
You can also expect your gums to be examined for indications of recession, swelling and inflammation. If pockets are found in your gums, the dentist may use a probe to measure their depth. Deeper pockets are associated with more severe forms of gum disease. The dentist may also x-ray your mouth to determine if bone loss has occurred because of the gum condition.
Clearing Periodontal Disease
Periodontal therapy is an invasive cleaning and scaling of the teeth and gums. Your Melbourne, Florida dentist must remove all the plaque, tartar, and bacteria from your teeth and below the gum line in order to allow your body to heal. Dr. Brazdo will meticulously remove all the harmful bacteria from your teeth and gums with concurrent techniques known as scaling and root planing. During the scaling, tartar or calcified plaque is scraped from the teeth. Root planing smoothes the roots of the teeth to eliminate roughened spots that can harbor oral bacteria. Local anesthetics are used during the procedure, and in some cases, pain medication may be necessary for the following days. In addition to pain medicines, your dentist may also prescribe antibiotic medications, such as the following, to help you get rid of the infection associated with the periodontal condition.
Antibacterial mouth rinse:
An antibiotic mouth rinse that contains chlorhexidine may be used to reduce the number of bacteria in your mouth.
Antibiotic gel may be added to the pockets of your gums after the scaling and root planing are complete.
Antibiotic capsules or pills may be taken by mouth for a period to help rid your gums of the infection.
In some cases, surgery may be needed to help the gums and jawbone heal fully. Flap surgery can be performed to decrease the size of gum pockets or remove additional tartar from deep within the pockets. During the procedure, the gums are lifted back so that the tartar can be scraped away to promote healing. Then the periodontal tissue is stitched back into place, where it rests closely around the teeth again.
Avoiding the Recurrence of Periodontal Disease
Lifestyle may have a large part to play in the development of periodontal disease. To halt the progression of the condition and to protect the periodontal therapy, you may be asked to update a few aspects of your lifestyle. The cessation of smoking and maintaining a beneficial daily oral hygiene routine can help you manage periodontal disease. After your periodontal treatment, Dr. Brazdo will send you home with detailed education on how to maintain healthy teeth and gums at home.
Preventing Periodontal Disease
Preventing periodontal disease is one of the most important aspects of oral hygiene. Because the development of periodontal disease is caused by excessive harmful bacteria on the teeth and gums, a daily oral hygiene routine is the most effective way to prevent periodontal disease. Brushing your teeth for two minutes, twice daily effectively removes bacteria and plaque from the surfaces of your teeth. Properly flossing helps to remove the bacteria from in between the teeth and at the gum line. It is extremely important to floss correctly in order to remove bacteria and prevent the damage they can cause. At your next appointment, ask your dentist if you’re flossing to the best of your ability. Finally, biannual visits to your Melbourne, Florida dentist are essential in preventing periodontal disease. Dr. Brazdo is able to remove the plaque and tartar from your teeth that are difficult to remove with your daily routine.