PERIODONTAL (GUM) DISEASE
Also known as the gum disease or periodontitis, periodontal disease is an inflammatory condition that commonly affects the soft tissues which support the tooth. When not treated on time, the disease may affect the jawbone as well. It starts off as gingivitis, a bacterial infection on your gum tissue before advancing further when the infection has completely colonized the gum pockets between your teeth.
Periodontitis is a progressive condition that, if not treated on time, will destroy your jawbone and the connective tissue. It may result in loose teeth, shifting teeth, and tooth loss. As a matter of fact, this condition is the number one cause of tooth loss among adults across the country and the world. This is enough reason for you to take action and treat the disease early before it advances further.
What are the different types of periodontal disease?
- Aggressive periodontitis
Aggressive periodontal disease tends to be found in an otherwise clinically healthy person. Common characteristics include chronic destruction of the jawbone, loss of gum attachment and familial aggregation.
- Chronic Periodontitis
Gum recession often occurs when there is inflammation in the supporting and surrounding soft tissues of the tooth. You may think your teeth are lengthening but it’s your gums that are receding. Chronic periodontitis is the most common of the four types of periodontal disease. Common characteristics include progressive loss of gum attachment.
- Periodontitis caused by systemic disease which may have cofactors such as diabetes, respiratory disease, and heart disease. Usually begins at an early age.
- Necrotizing periodontitis
People suffering from malnutrition, HIV, and immuno suppression are most likely to develop this form of periodontitis. Tissue death usually occurs in the gingival, periodontal ligament, and alveolar bone tissues.
How can Periodontal Disease be treated?
The form of treatment the periodontist may give you depends on the condition of your gums, jawbone and teeth. Your dentist will perform a complete periodontal exam of your mouth before administering or prescribing any treatment. Common treatments for this condition include:
- Tissue regeneration
Grafting procedures can be used to encourage the regrowth of destroyed gum and bone tissues. The procedure may involve inserting a membrane into the affected area of your teeth so as to facilitate or rather assist the regeneration process.
- Dental Implants
Your dentist may decide to implant prosthetic teeth into your jawbone in order to restore the functionality and aesthetics of the mouth. Note that the dentist may have to perform tissue regeneration procedures first before placing a dental implant. This will help in strengthening the bone.
- Scaling and root planing
Scaling and root planing involves removing the calculus and bacteria that caused the infection so that the health of the gum tissue is preserved. Antibiotics are usually used to clean and treat the gum pockets and help in alleviating the infection.
- Pocket elimination surgery.
This surgical treatment is often done to reduce the pocket size between the gums and teeth. The dentist may consider doing a surgery on the jawbone as well in order to get rid of indentations fostering the colonization of bacteria.
You should always discuss with your dentist about your dental health or rather ask him if you have questions and concerns about periodontal disease and its treatment.