Periodontics is a branch of dentistry that involves the diagnosis and treatment of gum diseases. Periodontitis is one of the major diseases that affect the gums. It is a progressive condition that starts due to the plaque and tartar accumulated on the teeth and root surfaces. It goes on to affect the gums, and if left untreated, affects the jawbone as well.
Periodontitis starts as a mild gum infection caused by the accumulation of bacteria on the teeth. When the buildup of bacteria continues for too long, it gradually turns into a dark, sticky substance called tartar. Tartar is said to be the cause of most dental infections and diseases. The bacteria from tartar infect the gums, causing swelling, redness, and mild irritation. This is called gingivitis. If gingivitis is left untreated for too long, it turns into a worse condition called periodontitis.
Periodontitis is the biggest threat to the gums. Here are some of the symptoms of the disease.
Swelling: The gums swell up, making it difficult to chew food or even brush the teeth. Also, the patient would feel an uncomfortable irritation in the mouth.
Redness and bleeding: The gums appear red in the primary stages. When the infection progresses, they may start to bleed.
Pain: The gums would pain a lot while brushing teeth and chewing food. They become so soft and weak that they may start to peel off while brushing.
Receding gums: Your teeth may start to appear longer. This is because your gums would be receding below their average level.
Bad breath: Due to the infected tissues of the gums and the accumulated bacteria on the teeth, people with periodontitis would have severe bad breath.
Bone deterioration: The jawbone would start to deteriorate, resulting in bone loss.
Loosening of the teeth: This shows that the disease is fast spreading. The bone loss would lead to the teeth loosening from their sockets, and eventually, fall if not treated in time.
Dental cleaning: Cleaning can be classified into two distinct types: scaling and root planing. Scaling is the process of removing the tartar from the surface of the teeth. Root planing is the same as scaling, except that it is done to clean the tooth roots. These methods get rid of the accumulated bacteria, thereby preventing further infection.
Pocket reduction surgery: Sometimes, bacteria tend to accumulate in the gum pockets present between the gums and the teeth. The surgery eliminates deep pockets, thereby preventing infection.
Gum surgery: The gums which have receded due to the infection can be restored with gum surgery. The dentist uses a high-intensity laser to remove the infected tissues. This method is pain-free and doesn’t cause bleeding. After this, the dentist extracts tissues from a healthy part of the mouth and grafts it to the receded/infected area.
Maintaining oral health: Brushing twice a day eliminates most of the disease-causing bacteria from the mouth and prevents the formation of plaque.
Medication: Medication for gum diseases can either be in the form of oral pills or medication to be placed on the gums, such as Arestin.
Schedule an online appointment or call us at (408) 226-1600 to have a consultation with Dr. Mitbavkar, and we’ll be happy to guide you further.