Last Updated on November 16, 2022 by Dr Gustavo Assatourians DDS
How can you fix periodontal disease
If your dentist has recently told you that you have gum disease, you are not alone. Also known as periodontitis, this disease affects nearly half of Americans over the age of 30, according to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Tooth loss is often an unfortunate result if it is not treated. But today, with so many successful treatment options available for periodontal disease, teeth don’t need to be lost. This article contains relevant information about the signs that warn if you are developing a periodontal disease, how to prevent the most severe stages of this disease, the complications that may arise from not taking these preventive measures, and the stomatological medical treatment that may be available in a clinic specialized in oral health care.
Why is it important to act quickly in the treatment of gum disease? We believe that knowledge is power, and being able to ask your dentist about the full range of therapies for gum disease will help you in the long run.
The sooner you seek treatment, the better your chances of saving your teeth and your health. While insurance often covers therapy for gum disease, there are many options available to people without dental insurance. It only takes a little research! For example, schools of dentistry and dental hygienists have clinics to gain practical experience in performing various procedures. These are carried out under the supervision of an experienced licensed dentist at a reduced price. Additionally, federally-funded health centers offer affordable dental services based on your income.
In addition to implementing healthy lifestyle habits like reducing sugar intake and activating a full daily oral hygiene routine, your dentist will recommend that you closely monitor your periodontal health with more frequent oral care checkups and appointments. When it comes to periodontal disease, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
What are the signs and symptoms?
- Periodontal disease begins to manifest as redness of the gums.
- Gums that are swollen and bleed easily when brushing or spontaneously.
- Very swollen and red or purplish gums (that look shiny)
- Appearance of spaces between teeth (loss of interdental papilla).
- Gums that retract, showing the longest teeth. (The root third of the tooth is exposed.)
- Bad breath or halitosis.
- Dental mobility. Your teeth start to move.
- Sensitivity and/or discomfort of the gums to the touch.
- Gingival bleeding when brushing teeth, or even spontaneously.
- There may be pus oozing.
- Pain in chewing either when eating or simply occluding the teeth.
- Malocclusion or changes when closing the teeth. You notice that the teeth do not fit together correctly or have an altered occlusion. That is, the teeth move and do not allow the mouth to be closed properly.
How to prevent gum disease?
Efficient brushing technique and the use of attachments
The goal of brushing your teeth is to remove plaque harboring bacteria and leading to gum disease and cavities. Almost any toothpaste when used with consistent and thorough brushing habits will accomplish this goal.
The fluoride in toothpaste, particularly stannous fluoride, helps kill bacteria in the mouth. There are other ingredients in toothpastes that help remove plaque more effectively and help keep it off the teeth after brushing.
The abrasive agents in toothpaste, such as silicates and calcium carbonates, help remove sticky plaque. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is a detergent in toothpaste that causes its foaming effect. Toothpastes vary in the amount of SLS they contain; a high concentration of SLS can cause problems for patients with a dry mouth or low saliva flow.
Some toothpastes include plaque control agents, such as pyrophosphates and zinc citrate, which prevent plaque from sticking to the teeth after brushing. Using a toothpaste that contains any combination of these ingredients will increase the effectiveness of your oral hygiene.
Also, floss after eating. Bacteria feed on the food stuck in your teeth, and by flossing, you eliminate their food source. Consider using toothpicks, as they not only remove pieces of food, but they also stimulate your gums to make them healthier.
Using mouthwash can also be a good idea, as it can kill the bacteria found in the mouth. It can also help loosen any leftover food particles.
Schedule regular dental visits
Preventive care is essential when it comes to gum disease. Not only will the dentist look for cavities and other problems, but he or she can also remove the tartar that a toothbrush cannot remove.
Stop smoking or chewing tobacco
Tobacco use can irritate the gums, which can increase the symptoms you feel from periodontal disease. Quitting smoking can be good for your health in a number of ways; not only can it reverse gum disease, but it can also reduce the risk of cancer.
The most common complication of periodontal disease is tooth loss, but periodontitis can affect a person’s overall health in other ways. It has been linked to the increased risk of a variety of other diseases, including respiratory problems, stroke, and coronary artery disease, although it is unclear how they are related.
A 3.7-year study of people with chronic coronary artery disease found that for every five missing teeth, there was a 17 percent increased risk of cardiovascular death, a 16 percent increased risk of death from all causes, a 14 percent higher risk of death than from any cause, as well as a higher risk of stroke.
Scientists are still not sure why this happens. It may be that periodontitis bacteria infect the coronary arteries, that periodontal bacteria trigger a general immune response, affecting the cardiovascular system, or there may be another link.
It is not clear whether gum disease leads to heart disease or if it is the other way around. There is no evidence as yet that better oral care leads to better cardiovascular health.
During pregnancy, if a bacterial infection causes moderate to severe periodontal disease, there is an increased risk of preterm delivery. Periodontitis has also been linked to low birth weight and pre-eclampsia.
Postmenopausal women with periodontal disease are more likely to develop breast cancer of an reliable origin, according to research published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers Prevention. Those with a history of smoking are particularly affected.
Periodontitis can also make it difficult for patients with diabetes to control their blood sugar.
Treatment of Periodontitis
The periodontist is the dental specialist in performing treatments for periodontitis. Once the extent of the disease has been evaluated, the basic treatment is carried out through the elimination of accumulated tartar deposits and performing a deep cleaning below the level of the gums and around each of the teeth. It is very important that the patient be aware of the importance of prevention, adopting good oral hygiene habits, and avoiding tobacco use.
- Scaling and root planning eliminate bacterial plaque and the tartar that accumulates on the surface of the teeth.
- Pharmacological treatment: each case is assessed according to the periodontal and general health status of each patient. Mouth rinses and sometimes antibiotics are used to help control bacterial infection.
There are different types of periodontal surgeries, among them:
- Treatment of recession of the gums
- Bone periodontal surgery
- Soft tissue grafts
- Bone tissue grafts
If you’ve been told you have periodontitis, it can be quite scary. But the good news is that it is reversible. To do this, you must assume a concerned and interested attitude in correcting unhealthy habits acquired over time, as well as going to a clinical health center, where the specialist dentist will perform a clinical inspection and report on the treatments you may need for the eventual diagnosis.
At Channel Islands Family Dental, we focus on providing a timely diagnosis. In addition, Oxnard Dentist, Ventura Dentist, Port Hueneme Dentist, and Santa Paula Dentist, strive to provide the best treatment to restore your confidence in smiling again.