Periodontitis also known as gum disease is a common dental problem that affects soft tissues and bones that supports the teeth. If the condition is left untreated, the bone around the teeth can be lost.
Periodontitis is caused by inflammation around a tooth. Bacteria stick on the surface of a tooth and with time, multiply. Your immune system reacts and it is during that time that inflammation occurs. The disease also increases the risk of other serious diseases such as heart attack and stroke.
Luckily, the disease can be prevented by practicing good oral hygiene. Your dentist can also tell you to maintain good oral hygiene as part of treatment. However, if the case is serious, surgery may be necessary.
For a dentist in Saint Louis MO, to determine if you have the condition, he may have to check the following.
Review your medical history. He will need to understand if you indulge in activities that can increase the risk of the disease. Activities such as smoking and taking medications that can lead to dry mouth can also cause periodontitis.
Your dentist will also examine your mouth. This will be to identify if there is any tartar or plaque buildup. He will also be looking for any bleeding in your mouth.
Sometimes the dentist may need to take dental X-rays. This will be to look for any bone loss especially if he observes deep pockets in your mouth.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, visit your dentist ASAP for diagnosis:
If your immunity is weakened, the probability of getting the disease is higher. Also, the following factors may increase the risk:
Smokers are always at a higher risk than non-smokers. Also, it is harder to treat a regular smoker than a non-smoker. In fact, 90% of smokers don’t respond well to Periodontitis treatment.
The hormonal changes that occur to ladies during puberty increase the risk of the disease. So are the hormonal changes during menopause and pregnancy.
People living with diabetes are at higher risk of gum disease.
People living with AIDS are normally affected by gum disease. It is actually very common.
Some cancers and their treatment increase the risk of Periodontitis drastically.
Some medications can increase the risk. Medications with vasodilating agents and antihypertensive medicines are known to increase the risk.
The following measures can help you improve the symptoms of the disease.
There are several ways of treating this disease. Both surgical and non-surgical. Some of the treatments include:
This is done to remove any bacteria on your teeth’s surface and around your gum. A laser is normally used.
Your dentist can recommend some antibiotics to help control the infection. The antibiotics can be oral or topical.
This is done to smoothen your root surface which in turn decreases the buildup of bacteria and tartar.
This is a surgical solution that is necessary if the disease has destroyed the bone around the root.
A small amount of tissue may be removed from your palate to replace damaged gum tissue.
A flap surgery makes it easy for you to maintain a healthy gum tissue after it heals.