An Inside Look Into the Diagnosis and Treatment of Periodontal Disease

An Inside Look Into the Diagnosis and Treatment of Periodontal Disease

Taking care of your teeth is an important habit that should not be taken lightly. You might find yourself dealing with periodontal (gum) disease if you are cavalier about brushing and flossing each day. Periodontal disease will not only cause pain and discomfort in your mouth but also cause you to lose your teeth.

Periodontal disease, when it is at its infancy, it is easily reversible, but if not taken care of, you run the risk of affecting your overall health. Believe it or not, there is a link between your systemic health and oral health.

Even with the advances that we have made medically, nearly half of Americans over the age of 30 have advanced gum disease. But, there is hope. These advances in medicine have made it possible for you to receive periodontal treatment in Oswego, and you do not have to end up losing your teeth.

But before we look at the treatment, let’s understand the disease.

Periodontal Disease Overview

Have you ever brushed your teeth and noticed that there’s a bit of blood in the sink? Bleeding gums is amongst the first signs that you have gum disease.

The early stage of the disease is known as gingivitis. At this stage, your gums are the only part that is infected. The condition is commonly caused by poor dental hygiene. It a prevalent disease but varies in severity.

Gingivitis starts when food debris mixes with bacteria and saliva and then sticks on the surface of your teeth. This forms plaque. If plaque is not removed when you brush with fluoridated toothpaste and floss your teeth, then the plaque mineralizes to form tartar. Tartar is too hard and can only be removed professionally.

Symptoms

Here are some of the symptoms of gingivitis:

  • Swollen Gums
  • Red or discolored gums
  • Bad breath
  • Shifting or wiggly teeth
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Shrinking gums

If left untreated, gingivitis develops into periodontitis. After the gums recede, bacteria, tartar and plaque can seep into the spaces and cause severe infections.

Over time, your teeth will become loose, and your bones will deteriorate, and your teeth will fall off.

Risk Factors

Other than bacteria, here are some of the additional risk factors that can increase the risk of periodontitis:

  • Obesity
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Hormonal changes in women
  • Medications that reduce the flow of saliva in your mouth
  • Poor nutrition 
  • Genetics

How to Diagnose Periodontitis

During your routine checkup, our periodontist near you may:

  • Check your medical history to see if there are any other issues that can lead to the symptoms you are experiencing
  • Examine your mouth to check for plaque and tartar and see if your gums easily bleed
  • Measure the groove between your gums and teeth to see if your gums are shrinking
  • Take dental X-rays to check if there is bone loss

Depending on the severity of the disease, our dentist will assign the stage and a grade to periodontitis.

Treatment

The main aim of periodontal treatment in Oswego is a deep cleaning of the pockets that surround the teeth to prevent the bone’s imminent damage. You stand a chance of beating this disease if you adopt a daily routine of maintaining proper oral habits.

There are two types of treatments:

Nonsurgical Treatments

If the disease has not in its advanced stages, then our periodontist will use non-invasive procedures such as:

  • Scaling. This is periodontal cleaning that involves the removal of tartar and bacteria from your teeth and beneath the gums. The deep cleaning of teeth can be done by using an ultrasonic device or a laser.
  • Root Planing. This involves smoothing the root surfaces, which discourages further buildup of bacteria and tartar. It also removes the bacterial byproducts, which cause inflammation and reduces the healing of the gums.
  • Antibiotics. Oral or topical antibiotics are used to help control the bacterial infection.

Surgical Treatments

When periodontitis has advanced, then surgery becomes a viable option. Our dentist might perform the following procedures:

  • Flap Surgery. This is done to expose the roots so that proper scaling and root planing can be done.
  • Soft Tissue Grafts. If your gum line has receded, then you might need some of the tissue to be reinforced. This is done by taking some of the tissue from your palate (roof of your mouth).
  • Bone Grafting. If periodontitis has destroyed the bone that surrounds your tooth, then this is done to reinforce it.
  • Guided Tissue Regeneration. Our dentist will place a biocompatible material in between your tooth and bone. The material prevents tissue from entering the area that is healing, allowing the bone to grow back.

It would be best if you recognized the early signs of periodontitis so as you can get the appropriate periodontal care. If you need to see a periodontist near you, contact us at Distinctive Dental, and we would love to improve your smile and overall health.