What is Periodontitis?
Do you ever wonder what causes people to lose their teeth? Or why we often see elderly people with dentures? Chances are these cases are a result of periodontitis, an inflammatory disease that affects the supporting structures of our teeth. This includes the gums, the periodontal ligaments, cementum, and bone. The damage periodontitis causes are IRREVERSIBLE and may require advanced procedures to try and repair.
How do you get Periodontitis?
In most cases, periodontitis is a result of inadequate plaque biofilm control (lack of proper brushing and flossing) although less common forms may be a result of health conditions or a compromised immune system.
Plaque is bacteria and when we continue to leave the plaque behind around the soft tissues of our gums our body wants to fight off that bacteria, so it sends in the immune system to help battle off that bacteria. Over time if this battle between the plaque and immune system persists, eventually bone destruction occurs. Bone does not grow back there for the destruction periodontitis causes is IRREVERSIBLE. In some causes, surgical procedures may correct the damage caused, but these procedures are expensive and, recovery can be uncomfortable, so prevention is important to avoid the trouble.
How do I know if I have Periodontitis?
Although a lot of the times periodontitis goes unnoticed, there are common signs and symptoms people experience, it is not uncommon that these signs and symptoms are ignored or not taken more seriously which is why check-ups with your dentist is so important to detect and prevent disease process from occurring or progressing
You may notice changes in your gums
- Redness, deep red, purple
- Pain or discomfort when gums are touched, during flossing/brushing
- Bleeding gums
- You may notice more gaps between teeth
- Pus may be present around the gums between the teeth
- Some people notice a metallic taste
- Bad breath
How can I treat and prevent Periodontitis?
It is important to arrest and prevent periodontitis through an effective oral hygiene regime and removing the bacteria that contributes to disease process (dental plaque/calculus).
- Brushing, spend extra time around areas of crowded/crooked teeth, bridges and crowns
- Flossing or interdental care
- Regular dental visits to remove calculus and monitoring
- Use fluoridated toothpaste
- Replace your brush every 3-4 months or if bristles get frayed
- Quit smoking
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle
Good oral health starts with you! Be sure to visit your dentist and hygienist a minimum of twice a year to ensure all your oral health needs are met. Remember that periodontitis often goes undetected but seeing your oral health professionals can diagnose any issues early and help prevent irreversible damage from occurring. For more information, you could contact Davis Dental Care – Our Newmarket dentists are always happy to assist you!
Harris, N. O., García-Godoy, F., & Nathe, C. N. (2009). Primary Preventive Dentistry (Seventh ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson
Gehrig, J. S., & Willmann, D. E. (2011). Foundations of periodontics for the dental hygienist (Third ed.). Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer
Nordqvist, C. (2018, January 18). Periodontitis: Treatment, home remedies, and symptoms. Retrieved March 26, 2018, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/242321.ph