Have you learned that you have periodontitis and don’t know what to do next? Read on to learn more about identifying, treating, and reversing periodontitis.
How to Reverse Periodontitis
Periodontal disease affects roughly 50% of the population in the United States, affecting around 65 million people.
We only have one set of teeth in our lifetime. Therefore, we must make every effort to ensure that it lasts as long as possible. On the other hand, many of us pay attention to our teeth and not our gums.
We don’t know that our gum health is closely related to our tooth health; if our gums are unhealthy, so are our teeth. This leads to problems, including loosened teeth and root damage.
It might be concerning to you if you’ve been diagnosed with periodontitis. But the good news is that it is reversible.
Read on to learn about the types of gum disease and how to cure it, so your mouth is healthier.
Types of Gum Disease
There are two main types of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontitis.
Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums. You may have an infection as a result. This happens because plaque and tartar accumulate on your teeth, prompting germs to grow on your teeth and gums.
Gingivitis is most often caused by poor dental hygiene. It might also be caused by various viruses, microorganisms, molds, and genetics.
If your gums are swollen and red, sore to the touch, bleed when you brush or floss them, and have foul breath, you’ve probably got gingivitis.
It will not cause any bone loss or gum recession with gingivitis. Gingivitis is one of the most common forms of gum disease, so it’s crucial to schedule regular checkups with your dentist.
Gingivitis, if not treated, might lead to periodontitis, a more severe condition.
Periodontitis occurs when plaque and tartar on your teeth are provided a feeding ground for germs. The number of microorganisms in the mouth may rise rapidly if you allow bacteria to feed on the plaque and tartar on your teeth. What is initially gingivitis becomes periodontitis.
Gum disease can cause your gums, as well as your teeth, to deteriorate. If you don’t act soon, your gums may recede far enough that your teeth will fall out because enough gum tissue doesn’t support them.
When you have periodontitis, your gums will be swollen and painful to the touch and easily bleed. You’ll also experience bad breath, pus emerging from your gums, unpleasant chewing, and teeth loss. Your teeth in the mirror may appear to be longer than average as a result of gum recession.
Chronic, aggressive, and necrotizing periodontal disease are the three types of periodontitis. The majority of individuals will have a form that can be treated.
Aggressive periodontitis generally develops in childhood or early adulthood. This gum disease affects a tiny group of people but is exceptionally rapid. If you don’t act immediately, you risk bone and tooth loss.
The necrotizing periodontal disease is a serious illness in which gum tissue dies, and you have a severe infection. People with weakened immune systems are more prone to periodontal disease.
Your dentist may check for periodontitis and its seriousness based on the following factors: medical history review to discover any elements contributing to your symptoms, such as smoking or taking certain medications that cause dry mouth.
They will quickly examine your teeth for plaque and tartar deposits and bleeding.
They will also use a dental probe beside your tooth beneath your gum line to measure the pocket depth. This groove between your gums and teeth is usually between 1 and 3 mm in a healthy mouth (mm). Pockets with depths greater than 4 mm are indicators of periodontitis. Cleaning pockets deeper than 5 mm is difficult.
Dental X-rays examine for bone loss in regions where your dentist notices greater pocket depths. Based on the severity of the illness, the complexity of treatment, your risk factors, and your health, your dentist may give periodontitis a stage and grade.
A periodontist, a dentist, or a dental hygienist may help you with treatment. Periodontitis therapy aims to clean the pockets around teeth thoroughly and avoid harm to surrounding bone. When you include a daily routine of good oral care, maintain health issues that impact dental health, and quit using tobacco, you have the most significant probability of successful therapy.
If the periodontitis is less severe, treatment may include less invasive procedures, such as:
Scaling. The dental scaling procedure removes tartar and germs from your tooth surfaces and the gums. It can be done with instruments, a laser, or an ultrasonic machine.
Root planing. Root planing smooths the root of the tooth. This, in turn, removes bacterial byproducts that contribute to gum inflammation and delay healing or reattachment of the gum to tooth surfaces.
Antibiotics. Antibiotics can be applied topically or taken by mouth to help cure oral or periodontal disease. Antimicrobial mouth rinses and applying gels containing antibiotics in the space between teeth and gums, as well as pockets after deep cleaning, are two examples of topical antibiotics. Oral antibiotics, on the other hand, may be required to eliminate infection-causing bacteria.
If you have advanced periodontitis, treatment may require dental surgery, such as:
Flap surgery is a surgical procedure in which the gum tissue surrounding a tooth (pocket) is trimmed to expose the roots for better scaling and root planing. Because periodontitis destroys bone, your periodontist may recontour the underlying bone before suturing back up the gum tissue. It’s simpler to clean these regions after you’ve recovered, and they’re more likely to stay healthy.
Soft tissue grafts. When the gum tissue is lost, the gum line recedes. Some of the damaged soft tissue might have to be reinforced. This is usually accomplished by removing a tiny amount of tissue from the roof of your mouth (palate) or using tissue from another donor source and attaching it to the afflicted location. It can aid in reducing further gum recession, covering exposed roots, and improving the appearance of your teeth.
Bone grafting. When your tooth’s bone surrounding the root has been destroyed by periodontitis, this procedure is used to restore it. The graft might comprise little pieces of your own or manufactured bone. By supporting your tooth in place, the bone transplant aids in preventing tooth loss. It also provides a foundation for new natural-bone growth.
Guided tissue regeneration. This permits new bone to grow where bacteria have destroyed it. Your dentist may use a unique piece of biocompatible fabric to separate existing bone from your tooth in one method. The material prevents unwanted tissue from entering the healing region by preventing unwanted tissue from entering the healing area.
Tissue-stimulating proteins. A third treatment option is to apply a unique gel to a diseased tooth root. This gel, which contains the same proteins found in developing tooth enamel, promotes the development of healthy bone and tissue.
When to see a dentist
A person should see a doctor or dentist if they have:
- bleeding gums when brushing the teeth or eating hard foods
- swollen, red, or sore gums
- bad breath
- loose teeth
- ulcers or red patches in the mouth
- a lump in the mouth or on the lip
These symptoms might suggest a need for immediate treatment or further evaluation to exclude other factors, such as mouth cancer or an abscess.