stages of gum disease
Dental Problems & Conditions,  Gum Disease

A Simple Understanding Of Periodontitis

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There are numerous causes of inflammation of body tissues in the body. Some of these inflammations can be a result of what you eat while others are caused by certain infections in the body.

Different parts of tissue can be attached to these different types of infections. One of the well-known types of infection is Periodontitis.

So, What Is Periodontitis?

The mouth region consists of many components. This includes the teeth, gums, jawbones and more. One of the few infections that could affect the normal function of teeth and lead to inflammation is called Periodontitis. Periodontitis is also known as Periodontal disease or Perio disease for short.

Periodontitis is a gum infection that causes serious inflammation of the gum tissues around the teeth. This infection causes bad bacteria to destroy the bone surrounding the teeth. It is a serious gum tissue infection with the capability of damaging the gums and destroying the teeth.

Periodontitis is one of the most common gum infections. It is also known as gum disease and often results in tooth loss due to the permanent damage of the gum tissues and bone surrounding the teeth.

What Causes Periodontitis?

gingivitis and calculus and plaque build up before and after
  • Dental Plaque and Calculus

In most cases, dental plaque is the primary cause of Periodontitis. Dental plaque is a layer of sticky film that surrounds the teeth. This sticky film contains bad bacteria that is harmful to the teeth. This plaque can harden if not removed and become calculus or tartar. This hardened substance can then grow harmful bacteria under it at a faster rate. Periodontal disease starts with Gingivitis and later can develop into Periodontitis if not treated.

Other known factors that contribute to Gingivitis and Periodontitis include:

  • Hormonal Changes

Sometimes hormones can cause the gum tissues to be extra sensitive. These are hormones that occur during puberty, monthly menstruation, pregnancy and so on.

  • Illness

Some illnesses can affect the immune system and cause the body system an array of attacks. Illnesses like HIV and cancer are well-known illnesses that interfere with how well your immune system functions. These types of illnesses cause higher chances of developing Periodontal infections in the process.

  • Medication

Different medications can affect your oral health. Certain medications can reduce the flow of saliva that is instrumental for the protection of the teeth and gums. Some medications such as anticonvulsants can also cause the abnormal growth of gum tissues in the mouth. If the gum tissues are overgrown, bacteria can grow at a quicker rate thus resulting in gum disease.

  • Bad Habits

Various bad habits can hinder good oral hygiene that results in the slower repair of gum tissues. Smoking is a good example of a bad oral habit that can cause Periodontitis to occur. Smoking weakens the immune system which can cause gum disease to occur.

  • Poor Oral Hygiene

Poor oral hygiene is the leading cause of Perio disease. Not keeping up with good oral hygiene practices can also cause gum disease. Bad oral hygiene like not brushing your teeth or flossing on a daily basis can aid the development of Periodontitis.

  • Dental Gum Disease

A long history of gum disease or Gingivitis could also be a contributing factor to the development of Periodontitis. If Gingivitis is left untreated, it can eventually develop into Perio disease.

What are the symptoms of before the development of Periodontitis?

Gum disease manifests in different forms in different people. Remember, it depends on the immune system and the care given to the dental region of the body.

For some people, the damage progresses as painless as possible and sprouts up suddenly. In these progressing phases, it produces some symptoms along the way. Most times, the symptoms are subtle but always provides warning signs before germinating to being an infection.

What are some of the known symptoms of Periodontal disease?

  • Bleeding gums after brushing the teeth
  • Bleeding gums after flossing teeth
  • Reddish colored and swollen gums surrounding teeth
  • Persistiant bad breath
  • Bad or foul taste in the mouth
  • Receding gums
  • Loosening of teeth from gums
  • Formation of space between your teeth and gum tissue
  • Change in teeth arrangement immediately after biting down on something

In some cases, the symptoms mentioned above may not be experienced but Periodontital disease might still be present. This gum disease could also affect other parts of the teeth aside from the gums surrounding the teeth. It is important to go for a regular dental checkup if any of the mentioned symptoms are surfacing.

What Are The Treatments For Periodontitis?

There are different types of treatment for the different stages of Periodontitis. Depending on the phase of detection, the prescribed treatment is usually different.

The main goal of treating Periodontitis or Perio disease is the reattachment of your healthy gums back with the teeth. The aim is to reduce the initial swelling and fill the pocket space.

While treating Periodontitis, the stop of the progressing disease is the main task. The treatments range between nonsurgical therapies to surgery for the full restructuring of supportive gum architecture to the tooth.

Is Periodontitis Transmittable?

Technically yes and no. Various carried out research has shown that the major cause of Periodontitis is the reaction of bacteria under the gums. Primarily from plaque, that form coating around the teeth area. Technically, Periodontitis infection may not be contagious.

However, the bacteria that are the root causes of the inflammation in the gum tissues may spread through the transfer of saliva. The bacteria may start to react in the healthy host mouth and cause Periodontal infection if not wiped out by the host body immune system.

How to prevent Periodontal disease

Depending on the stage of gum disease, there are possible prevention plans that could prevent it from progressing to a full Perio infection. Gingivitis can be reversed but Periodontal disease cannot. Periodontal disease can only be stopped and controlled. Once you lose bone, you cannot grow it back. You can however stop the disease in its tracks with good treatment and plaque control.

Plaque control can be properly practiced through professional cleaning twice a year. It also includes the daily brushing and flossing of your teeth. The daily brushing process removes the plaques on the surface of your teeth while flossing removes food particles and plaques within the teeth and around the gum.

The use of anti-bacterial mouthwash also reduces the number of bacteria in your mouth that could result in gum disease and bad mouth odor.

You could also prevent Periodontitis by keeping up with good oral hygiene and staying away from bad oral habits in general.

Smoking weakens the immune system and can cause greater chance of gum disease. So if you smoke, consider quitting. Also, maintain health by visiting your doctor regularly to make sure you do not have any underlying illness.

Wrapping It Up

Periodontitis can be avoided with the proper maintenance of your dental health. It is also treated in different ways as prescribed by your dentist.

Depending on the stage your Periodontitis is in, it may only need a nonsurgical therapy for it or an actual surgery for the rearrangement process for your gums. If not properly treated, Periodontitis can likely result in the total loss of your teeth. Visit your dentist to see what options and treatments are available to you.

Kelly Hancock, RDH

periodontal disease

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