Should you get screened for Periodontitis?
Periodontitis is a common gum Disease that affects millions of people worldwide. It is a chronic bacterial infection that can lead to the destruction of the tissues that support and surround the teeth, including the Gums, ligaments, and bone. This disease can cause tooth loss if left untreated, making it crucial to understand its causes, symptoms, and treatment options.
Periodontal screenings are part of every single routine dental examination at Summit Dental. This is because early detection and treatment as essential. The exam is extremely quick and absolutely painless. If you don’t have periodontitis, you may not even notice that we were looking for it. That being said, many dentists focus in on the teeth and forget all the other important structures around the teeth!
What is Periodontitis?
Periodontitis is a type of gum disease that occurs when bacteria in the mouth form plaque, a sticky film on the teeth. Over time, this plaque can harden into tartar, which cannot be removed by regular brushing and flossing. The tartar buildup can cause inflammation and infection of the gums, leading to a condition called gingivitis. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, which involves the destruction of the bone and tissue that support the teeth.
Who is Affected by Periodontitis?
Periodontitis affects people of all ages, but it is more common in adults over the age of 30. Certain factors increase the risk of developing periodontitis, including:
Poor Oral Hygiene: Inadequate brushing and flossing can lead to the buildup of plaque and tartar, increasing the risk of gum disease.
Smoking and Tobacco Use: Smoking and using tobacco products can damage the gums, reducing their ability to heal and increasing the risk of gum disease.
Genetics: Some people may be more susceptible to periodontitis due to their genes.
Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes and autoimmune diseases, can increase the risk of gum disease.
Medications: Some medications, such as certain types of antidepressants and heart medications, can cause dry mouth, which can lead to gum disease.
Symptoms of Periodontitis:
The symptoms of periodontitis can vary depending on the severity of the disease, but they typically include:
Swollen, Red, or Tender Gums: Inflammation of the gums is a common symptom of periodontitis.
Bleeding Gums: Gums that bleed during brushing or flossing may be a sign of periodontitis.
Bad Breath: Chronic bad breath that is not resolved by brushing or mouthwash may be a sign of periodontitis.
Receding Gums: Gums that pull away from the teeth, exposing the roots, may be a sign of periodontitis.
Loose Teeth: Teeth that are loose or shifting out of position may be a sign of advanced periodontitis.
Treatment of Periodontitis:
The treatment of periodontitis depends on the severity of the disease. Mild cases of periodontitis can often be treated with improved oral hygiene practices, such as more frequent brushing and flossing. However, more advanced cases of periodontitis may require more intensive treatment, such as:
Professional Cleaning: A dental professional can perform a deep cleaning procedure called scaling and root planing to remove plaque and tartar from below the gum line.
Antibiotics: Antibiotics may be prescribed to control the bacterial infection associated with periodontitis.
Surgery: In some cases, surgical intervention may be necessary to repair damage to the gums and bone. Procedures such as flap surgery and bone grafting can help to regenerate lost tissue and bone.
Prevention of Periodontitis:
Preventing periodontitis is essential in maintaining good oral health. The following practices can help prevent the development of gum disease:
Brush and Floss Regularly: Brushing and flossing at least twice a day can help remove plaque and prevent its buildup.
Use Mouthwash: Mouthwash can help kill bacteria that cause gum disease and freshen breath.
Quit Smoking: Smoking is one of the most important modifiable factors in the prevention of periodontitis
If you have more questions about periodontitis, are interested in getting a screening or are looking for some help in quitting smoking or improving your oral hygiene, don’t hesitate to click the link and fix and appointment at Summit Dental!
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