Periodontal (Gum) Disease Treatment in Grand Prairie
Periodontal (Gum) Disease
Periodontal (gum) disease affects many people worldwide and hence you are not the only one suffering from the disease. The disease ranges from simple gum inflammations to worst cases involving damage to the soft tissues and bones that support a tooth leading to tooth loss.
How does periodontal (gum) disease develop?
Periodontitis develops in a series of stages, each with its own symptoms and modes of treatment. With time bacteria present in mouth tend to get accumulated with mucus and other debris in the form of plaques on our teeth. The build-up of plaques can be retarded by a well maintained dental hygiene regime. Regular brushing and flossing help to get rid of such plaques. Plaques that are not removed quickly harden to form tartar which is the primary cause of a mild form of gum disease called gingivitis.
In gingivitis, gums become red, swollen and susceptible to easy bleeding. Cleaning of teeth regularly and a visit to the dentist for dental clean-up can check the development of gingivitis.
If gingivitis is not promptly treated, it may lead to periodontitis. In periodontitis, gums pull away from teeth and creates pockets for bacteria to enter. Thus infection spreads further into the teeth below the gum level. The immune response of the body is evoked under such circumstances leading to swelling, redness and pain in the area and a combination of the havoc created by immune cells and bacterial toxins damage the soft tissue and bones holding the teeth together. This may finally lead to dislodgement of the tooth.
What are the risk factors for periodontal (gum) disease?
A number of risk factors render you susceptible to periodontitis. They are as follows:
- Smoking: Smoking has extremely deleterious effects on your gums and also retards treatment procedures.
- Diabetes: Patients of diabetes are more prone to develop a disease of the gums.
- Other underlying illnesses: Diseases like cancer and AIDS which involve immunosuppression are also associated with development of periodontal gum disease.
- Hormonal changes in women: Certain hormonal changes in women lead to rendering their gums more sensitive and susceptible to develop gingivitis.
- Genetic factors: Genetics have been also found to have a role in the development of periodontal gum disease.
- Medications: Certain medications increase the chances of development of periodontitis.
- Age:Generally, age increases the chances of developing periodontitis.
What are the symptoms of periodontal (gum) disease?
Some of the symptoms linked to this condition are
- Red, swollen gums
- Persistent bad breath
- Painful sensation while eating
- Loosening teeth
- Increased sensitivity of teeth
A visit to the dentist
- A visit to a dentist is must if you experience one or more of the above symptoms associated with periodontitis. This is what the dentist will generally do following your visit:
- You will be first asked to explain your medical history. You need to inform the dentist whether you are a smoker or have an underlying disease that may lead to periodontitis.
- The dentist will then examine your gums for signs of inflammation and infection. The dentist may measure the size of pockets created in your gums with the help of a probe to detect if the pockets are of significant size to be a cause of worry.
- Your dentist will then ask you to take a dental X-ray test.
- If there is significant damage to your teeth and the complexity of the problem cannot be handled by your dentist, you may be referred to a periodontist.
- The periodontist will then carry out the treatment of periodontitis.
How is periodontal (gum) disease treated?
The treatment schedule will depend on the severity of the disease. The following treatment modules may be adopted:
- Cleaning: The periodontist will start with cleaning the affected region using either traditional cleaning tools or laser technology. Scaling results in flaking off the tartar from the surface of teeth and gums. Root planning involves the removal of the rough spots at the teeth roots where germs tend to gather.
- Medications: Medications like oral antibiotics, antibiotic mouth wash, antibiotic gels, antiseptic chips and enzyme suppressants may be used to treat periodontal gum disease.
- Surgery: If cleaning and medications fail to suppress the symptoms of periodontitis, surgery may need to be undertaken. Flap surgery is an invasive procedure where the periodontist lifts the gums to clear the area inside the gums off tartar and then reseals back the gums so that no pockets remain. This cleans up the tooth intrinsically and ensures the infection spreads no further. Bone and tissue grafting is a sophisticated technique of regrowing lost bone and soft tissue in cases of periodontitis. Here, the periodontist grafts a mesh like material between the bones and the gums. The mesh checks the growth of gums into cavities created by damaged soft tissue and bones. This allows time for regrowth of bones and soft tissue. Also, soft tissue grafts may be grafted into the damaged areas to cover exposed tooth roots.
Can periodontitis affect other parts of the body?
Research studies are trying to identify whether periodontitis can have detrimental effects on other organs besides the teeth. Some studies have found an association between periodontitis, heart problems and diabetes. However, whether the gum problems are the cause or effect of these diseases is not yet clearly elucidated.
What you can do to stop periodontal (gum) disease?
Prevention is always better than cure. So if you wish to discourage the development of periodontitis, you need to follow certain healthy oral practices such as:
- Brush your teeth at least twice daily and if possible, after each meal.
- Floss regularly to clear the plaques gathered between crevices in your teeth.
- Do not smoke or drink excessive soft drinks which have a decaying effect on your teeth.
- Visit a dentist regularly for a thorough dental check-up.
If you are interested to further discuss about periodontal (gum) disease in Grand Prairie, TX, contact 817-200-7086 or schedule an appointment today with the team at Affordable Dentist in Grand Prairie.