Last Updated on May 17, 2023 by Dr Gustavo Assatourians DDS
Many people are concerned about the worrying gum condition known as periodontitis, which begs the question, can periodontitis be cured? The bacteria in dental plaque that cause this condition can harm the tissues that support and surround the teeth.
Although periodontitis can be managed with a variety of treatments, a full recovery is still unlikely. In this discussion, we will examine the various periodontitis treatment methods and assess how well they work to address the underlying causes of the condition. In the end, we’ll try to determine whether periodontitis can be cured or if it simply has to be maintained over time.
What is periodontitis?
Gum disease of the sort known as periodontitis can have negative effects on oral health. It happens when bacteria in plaque accumulation on teeth cause gingivitis, an inflammatory condition of the gums. Gingivitis can develop into periodontitis, which harms the soft tissue and bone supporting the teeth if left untreated. Infected pockets are created when the gums separate from the teeth as a result. The significant bone damage caused by periodontitis, if ignored, might result in tooth loss. This illness is very prevalent and is the main reason why adults lose teeth.
Are you experiencing gum recession or teeth that appear larger than usual? It could be a sign of internal inflammation caused by bone loss and the breakdown of supporting tissues. This condition often goes undetected until it has reached advanced stages, causing tooth mobility, bad breath, and severe infections.
Periodontitis can be difficult to detect because it may not cause pain, and bleeding may or may not be present. However, if left untreated, it can lead to serious dental problems and even tooth loss.
What are the causes?
It might result in tooth loss and other health issues if addressed. The following are some of the most typical reasons for periodontitis:
• Poor oral hygiene: Plaque can accumulate on your teeth and gums if you don’t brush them at least twice a day, floss often, and visit the dentist regularly. Periodontitis may result from inflammation and infection brought on by this bacterial film that sticks to teeth.
• Smoking: Smoking impairs immunity, making it more difficult for the body to fight off illnesses. Smoking also lowers blood flow to the gums, which hinders the regeneration of healthy tissue.
• Genetics: Some persons are more genetically predisposed to periodontitis than others. You can be more susceptible if relatives have experienced gum disease.
• Hormonal changes: Due to hormonal changes that impact the gums, women are more likely to develop periodontitis after pregnancy or menopause.
• Medications: Some drugs can make you dry-mouthed, which lowers saliva production and raises your risk of gum disease. Other medications may also irritate and bleed the gums.
• Medical conditions: Periodontitis is more likely to affect people who have diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic disorders. In these circumstances, the immune system is compromised, making it more difficult for the body to fight off diseases.
• Poor nutrition: Periodontitis can occur as a result of a diet high in processed foods and sugar. Your immune system and oral health may suffer if you don’t consume adequate nutrients like calcium and vitamin C.
In conclusion, there are numerous, intricate causes of periodontitis. Good oral hygiene practices and routine dental checkups can help prevent this dangerous illness.
Symptoms of periodontitis
It might result in tooth loss and other dental issues if left addressed. To receive treatment as soon as possible, it’s critical to know the signs of periodontitis. Here are a few typical signs:
1. Swollen or Tender Gums: Swollen or tender gums are another sign of periodontitis. You can also have red or purple gums.
2. Bad Breath: Periodontitis can result in persistent bad breath that is unaffected by brushing or mouthwash. This is due to the bad odor that the bacteria that cause gum disease emit.
3. Gums that are receding: As periodontitis worsens, your gums may begin to peel away from your teeth, exposing more of the tooth. Your teeth may appear longer than usual as a result of this.
4. Loose Teeth: If periodontitis is severe enough, your teeth may become loose and begin to move. Biting and chewing may be challenging because of this.
5. Pus Between Teeth: If you discover pus in the space between your gums and teeth, you may have an infection. You need to visit the dentist right now.
6. Changes in Bite: Periodontitis can alter your bite, making it challenging to correctly chew or speak.
What results from untreated gum disease?
Usually, gum inflammation and bleeding are the initial signs of periodontal disease. This happens when plaque and tartar accumulate on the teeth, inflicting a gum infection. The gums may begin to pull away from the teeth as the condition worsens, exposing the tooth roots and forming pockets where germs can thrive.
If periodontal disease is not treated, it can lead to several serious consequences, such as:
1. Loss of teeth: The condition may cause your gums to slip away from your teeth, which will result in tooth loss. In actuality, periodontal disease is the main reason why adults lose their teeth.
2. Bone loss: The bacteria that cause periodontal disease are capable of attacking the bone that supports your teeth. Your teeth may become loose or even fall out completely as a result of bone loss.
3. Systemic health issues: According to research, periodontal disease is associated with several systemic health issues, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and respiratory infections.
4. Gum abscesses: In its later stages, periodontal disease can cause painful, pus-filled abscesses in the gums that demand immediate dental care.
5. Halitosis: Chronic poor breath is a typical sign of periodontal disease that is uncomfortable and difficult to treat.
Can periodontitis be cured?
It can be effectively treated with the right care. The goal of treatment is to manage bacterial infection, stop the spread of the illness, and stop additional harm to the bone and surrounding tissues. Maintaining periodontal health and avoiding tooth loss are the objectives.
Types of treatments for periodontal disease
The following are a few of the most popular surgical remedies for periodontitis:
1. Bone grafting: Bone loss around the teeth caused by periodontitis can lead to loose teeth or even tooth loss. A bone graft necessitates the removal of bone from another area of the body or the use of artificial bone. The bone is then positioned in the injured location to encourage the formation of new bone.
2. Flap Surgery: Tartar or debris from the tooth roots are removed during pocket reduction surgery by raising the gums. By reducing the depth of the pockets between the gums and teeth, this technique makes it simpler to maintain good dental hygiene. The gums will be cleaned and then sutured back into position.
3. Laser surgery has grown in popularity as a periodontitis treatment during the past few years. The infected tissue is removed during laser surgery in order to speed up healing.
4. Guided Tissue Regeneration: In this technique, a specific membrane is inserted between the gums and the tooth root to stop the growth of unwelcome tissue and promote the creation of new bone and tissue in its stead.
5. Enamel Matrix Derivative Therapy: This treatment promotes tissue growth and regeneration surrounding damaged teeth by using proteins present in developing tooth enamel.
These procedures can aid in enhancing gum health and stopping further harm.
1. Root planning and scaling: Plaque and tartar buildup on the surface of your teeth are removed during scaling and root planing, a nonsurgical treatment for periodontitis. To prevent you from feeling any pain, this treatment is typically performed while you are under local anesthetic. Your gums’ ability to heal and experience less inflammation can be aided by scaling and root planing. The primary line of treatment for periodontitis in its early stages is frequently this one.
2. Antibiotics: These antibiotics are available in a gel form that can be applied to the gums or taken orally. Although antibiotics can be quite successful in treating periodontitis, it is crucial to use them under a dentist’s supervision.
3. Dietary supplements: Supplemental nutrition can be extremely important for preserving healthy gum tissue. Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins C, and D all have anti-inflammatory qualities that help lessen gum inflammation.
Adopting appropriate dental hygiene practices is the most important measure you can take to prevent periodontitis. For your teeth and gums to be free of plaque and bacteria, brush twice a day and floss once a day.
• Use an antiseptic mouthwash: It helps destroy the bacteria that cause gum disease. It is crucial to pick a mouthwash with cetylpyridinium chloride or chlorhexidine.
• Stop Smoking: Periodontitis is greatly increased by smoking. Quitting smoking can lower your risk of acquiring gum disease.
• Maintain a Healthy Diet: Gum disease is more likely in people who eat diets high in sugar and processed food. Diets high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, on the other hand, support healthy gums.
• Regular dental cleanings and examinations: Helps identify and treat gum disease before it gets out of control. Based on your particular requirements and risk factors, your dentist can also offer tailored advise.
You can maintain healthy gums and avert periodontitis complications by implementing these prevention strategies. Keep in mind that keeping your general health and well-being depends on maintaining your oral health.
Periodontitis is a serious ailment that, if ignored, can have a negative impact on both oral and general health. However, with the proper mix of early discovery, expert dental care, medication, and lifestyle modifications, effective management and even cure are possible. Maintaining continuous treatment and establishing strong oral hygiene habits are essential for halting additional harm and raising one’s quality of life. While there may not be a single treatment that works for everyone, those who take proactive steps to control their symptoms and preserve their oral health can still experience excellent treatment outcomes.
If you have any questions about “Can periodontitis be cured?” or other topics, you can contact us at Channel Islands Family Dental as well as our page on Facebook. We look forward to your visit and we will make a timely diagnosis. Our dentists in Oxnard, Santa Paula, Ventura, Newbury Park, and Port Hueneme will be able to guide you toward the best treatment to take care of your health and give you back your best smile.
- American Academy of Periodontology: https://www.perio.org/
- National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research: https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/health-info/gum-disease/more-info
- Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/periodontitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20354473
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/conditions/periodontal-disease.html
- MedlinePlus: https://medlineplus.gov/periodontal-diseases.html
- WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/periodontal-disease-periodontitis
- Healthline: https://www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health/periodontitis-symptoms-treatments