What is Periodontitis? What Periodontal Treatments Are There?

posted byMuse Dental GroupNovember 3, 2020

If you have noticed prolonged, severe inflammation in your gums or prevalent gum recession, this could be a sign of periodontitis or gum infection.

There are multiple ways to treat periodontitis, depending on its severity, both surgically and non-surgically.

In this article, we will answer the following questions:

What is Periodontitis?

Periodontitis is the medical term for gum disease. If severe enough, periodontitis can cause damage to the soft tissue and the bone structure in the mouth. When this occurs and is left untreated by a dentist, the patient may permanently lose his or her teeth.

Periodontitis is fairly common and is most often correlated with poor oral hygiene, meaning that with the proper dental care, periodontitis can be prevented.

Although there is a long list of symptoms that suggest a patient has periodontitis, the most common include:

  • Swollen or puffy gums that are tender to the touch

  • Red or purple gums that bleed easily

  • Bleeding gums after brushing or flossing

  • Bad breath

  • Pus between your teeth and gums

  • Loose teeth, new spaces developing between teeth, or gum recession

What Causes Periodontitis?

Periodontitis can occur for several reasons, many of which stem from poor dental hygiene and the subsequent development of plaque and bacteria.

It is normal for plaque to form on the teeth, but it is important to remove it and prevent it from forming by brushing and flossing daily.

If plaque is not removed from the teeth, it can harden into a substance called tartar, which contains bacteria and can harm your teeth if not removed. Unfortunately, tartar cannot be removed by just brushing, so a patient must visit a dentist when it forms.

Periodontitis, in its mildest form, is called gingivitis, which is characterized by gum inflammation and mild irritation. However, gingivitis, if left untreated, can progress into more serious periodontal disease.

In general, gum inflammation is the root cause of periodontal disease. This inflammation causes pockets in the gums that can become filled with plaque and bacteria that can further exacerbate the infection, causing the patient to lose their teeth in severe cases.

What are Periodontal Treatments?

In general, periodontal treatments aim to clean the pockets formed in the gums that are filled with plaque and bacteria. These treatments are done to stop the infection and prevent the loss of bone damage and tooth loss.

Surgical Periodontal Treatments

The first type of surgical periodontal treatment is flap surgery, also known as pocket reduction surgery. This procedure involves making small incisions in the gum so that the dentist can lift the tissue to scale the roots underneath.

As previously mentioned, bone damage occurs as a result of periodontitis, but flap surgery allows the bone to be reshaped.

The next type of surgical periodontal treatment is soft tissue grafts, which aim to replace the gum that may have receded due to periodontitis. Soft tissue grafts involve removing tissue from the roof of the mouth and placing it where the gum has receded.

Bone grafting is another type of surgical periodontal treatment that aims to treat bone that is damaged due to periodontitis. Bone, either natural or synthetic, is placed to prevent the patient from losing his or her teeth and to help lost bone re-grow.

Periodontitis is also treated surgically through guided tissue regeneration. This involves placing fabric between the bone and the tooth, isolating the bone and allowing it to grow back.

Finally, periodontitis is treated with tissue-stimulating proteins, which are placed on the root in gel form. This gel stimulates the growth of bone and tissue that may have been lost due to severe periodontitis.

Non-Surgical Periodontal Treatments

The first type of non-surgical periodontal treatment is scaling, which involves removing plaque and tartar from the teeth and gums, helping in cases of mild periodontitis, or preventing any gum inflammation.

Another type of non-surgical periodontal treatment is root planning, which aims to smooth the surfaces of tooth roots to stop the formation of plaque, tartar, and bacteria. Root planing removes this bacteria to prevent gum inflammation and helps with gum recession.

Finally, periodontitis is treated non-surgically with antibiotics, which prevent further infection of the gums. These antibiotics can either be consumed orally or placed between the teeth in a topical gel form.

How to Determine if You Need Periodontal Treatment

It may be difficult to determine if you need periodontal treatment based on symptoms alone, so it is important to visit your dentist regularly.

To determine how severe your gum infection is, your dentist will first review your history of smoking and take note of any medication that could be unintentionally exacerbating the problem.

Then your dentist will check for inflamed and sensitive gums, bleed easily, and have a tartar buildup.

Additionally, your dentist might measure the pocket between your gums and teeth since gum recession is one of the tell-tale signs of periodontitis.

Finally, your dentist may perform an x-ray to determine if you need periodontal treatment.

Choose a periodontics expert in Los Angeles

If you are experiencing any symptoms of periodontitis, it is important to make an appointment with your dentist so that the infection does not get worse.

The dentists at Muse Dental will diagnose your case and provide advice on which periodontal treatment is best for you.

Here at Muse Dental, we want to help you maintain your oral health and provide you with the best care possible.

If you are due for a dental cleaning and exam or are feeling some pain that needs to be treated, schedule an appointment with us today!

We’d love to have you for a checkup at Muse Dental Group with Dr. G. Bardakjian. He will evaluate your oral health and will ensure your periodontal treatment is done with the utmost care.

Your smile is in great hands at Muse Dental Group!

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