Periodontal disease or gum disease is an oral condition affecting the gums or tissues surrounding the teeth. It is a result of the accumulation of plaque and tartar both above and below the gumline. Plaque and tartar deposits house bacteria, which infect the gum tissues and lead to their degeneration. Periodontal disease is characterized by the following symptoms:
- Receding gums that pull away from teeth, which leads to a total loss of attachment or CAL.
- Teeth lengthening due to receding gums.
- Red and bleeding gums while brushing, flossing, or biting on hard surfaces.
- Gum inflammation and swelling that keeps on recurring.
- Halitosis or bad breath that seems persistent.
- Formation of deep periodontal pockets between teeth and gums.
- Loose teeth that are ready to fall out.
What are the different types of periodontal disease?
The different types of periodontal disease are:
Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease and its mildest form. It does not cause much discomfort to the patient and is characterized by red, swollen, and bleeding gums. Gingivitis is caused due to poor oral hygiene and can be reversed with professional removal of plaque and tartar and good oral habits.
Untreated gingivitis progresses into periodontitis. It is the stage where plaque and tartar seep below the gum line and harbor bacteria that release toxins. Periodontitis is a chronic oral condition that deteriorates the gums, supporting tissues and the underlying bones. It is characterized by gingival recession, loose teeth that require extraction, and formation of periodontal pockets.
Periodontal disease requires immediate attention as it is often linked to serious diseases like atherosclerosis, stroke, diabetes, and complicated respiratory diseases.
How is periodontal disease treated?
Periodontal disease can be treated by various methods, like:
1. Professional dental cleaning
Professional dental cleaning is a preventive measure against gum disease and can reverse gingivitis. First, special dental tools are used to scrape away the deposits of plaque and tartar. Next, gritty toothpaste is used to scrape away the remaining debris. Then, expert flossing is performed to remove plaque from interdental areas. Finally, the tooth enamel is remineralized using fluoride to enable it to fight against cavities and bacterial attack.
It is a vital dental service that one must avail at least twice every year. Regular professional dental cleanings help in preventing gum disease.
2. Deep cleaning
Deep cleaning consists of two procedures, namely, scaling and root planing. Scaling is performed to remove plaque and tartar deposits from both above and below the gum line. Surfaces with plaque and tartar accumulation are identified and an ultrasonic instrument is used to clean such areas.
After plaque and tartar have been successfully removed, root planing is performed. Root planing involves smoothening of tooth roots to allow them to attach well with the gums. It also eliminates vulnerable areas where bacteria can hide and multiply. Deep cleaning treats gingivitis and early stages of periodontitis.
3. Pocket reduction surgery
Pocket reduction surgery is performed to close the spaces that develop between teeth and gums (due to periodontal disease). These pockets are dangerous for oral and overall health as they harbor toxin-releasing bacteria that deteriorate both gum and bone tissues. Pocket reduction surgery involves opening the gums through flap surgery and then shaping and smoothening of tooth roots to allow them to attach themselves to the gums.
4. Bone grafting
Bone grafting involves transplanting healthy bone tissues from a donor area in the body to the recessed areas in the mouth. It helps improve the density of bones in the recessed region. Bone grafting is performed to either treat gum disease or before placing dental implants.
5. Gum grafting
Gum grafting involves transplanting healthy gum tissues from a donor area in the mouth to a recessed area. It improves the health of recessed gum tissues and is used to treat periodontitis.
6. Periodontal laser therapy
Periodontal laser therapy uses dental lasers to treat gum disease. Dental lasers shoot concentrated beams of light with specific wavelengths to remove and reshape infected gum tissues, while ultrasonic scalers remove plaque and tartar deposits. The beams of laser light penetrate through the soft gum tissue while sealing exposed blood vessels and nerve endings. Their high-energy thermal output not only eliminates infected gum tissues but also prevents future infections by sterilizing the exposed area.
At Ayoub Dental we employ the practices of modern dentistry to systematically repair damage and enhance the appearance of your smile. We design a custom plan for each patient to meet their individual requirements. For further doubts and queries, book an appointment with us or visit our office today.