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Periodontitis is a disease related to severe infections in gums. It tears down the tissues and bones that support the teeth. It can lead to loss of tooth, strokes else there are high chances of heart attacks also. There could be other problems as well. It is not rare and can be prevented. It is due to improper oral care. Periodontitis can be avoided through proper cleaning and brushing and flossing regularly.

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Symptoms of Periodontitis

Some to the symptoms of periodontitis are as follows:

  • Loosening of teeth
  • Bad breath
  • Swelling of gums
  • Tender gums
  • Development of spaces between the teeth
  • Not good taste in mouth
  • Change in color of gums i.e. radiant red or purple
  • Difference in the style of teeth close together when biting
  • Pus amid the teeth and gum
  • Receding of gums from teeth, due to which the teeth appear unusually long than the normal size.

Types of Periodontitis

There are two types of periodontitis namely:

  • Chronic Periodontitis: It is very common and usually affects the older people but sometimes it may also affect children.
  • Aggressive Periodontitis: Around one or two per cent of the population are affected by this type of periodontitis. It may start when a person is a child or becoming an adult.

Causes of Periodontitis

Following are the causes of periodontitis:

  • Plaque: Plaque when not cleaned for more than 2 or 3 days will turn to tartar and it will not be then easy to clean the plaque which gives way to bacteria. If plaque is not cleaned for a very long time then it can cause serious damages to gum and teeth leading to gingivitis which is a form of periodontal disease. Serious infections may lead to loosening of gum tissues and bones and ultimately losing of 1 or more teeth.
  • Use of Tobacco
  • A family history of people suffering from periodontitis
  • Diabetes
  • Old age
  • Decrease in immunity
  • Not good nutrition
  • Poor oral care
  • Not good fittings for dental restorations
  • Changes in hormones like in menopause or when pregnant
  • Some medicines may also cause periodontitis

Treatment of Periodontitis

It periodontitis is not treated it may lead to loss of teeth, strokes, respiratory problems, diabetes is poorly controlled, coronary artery disease or sometimes baby’s weight when they are born is very less. Therefore thorough oral examination is done. To do this a metal probe is used to know the depth of the gingival sulcus i.e. the groove between the gum and teeth. This will help to know how serious the periodontitis disease is. The treatment will help to clean the bacteria preventing more damages. The treatment can be done by a dentist, dental hygienist or periodontist. But one has to follow the schedule to maintain good oral health habits so that the treatments are a success.

There are two types of treatments namely, Nonsurgical Treatments and Surgical Treatments.

Nonsurgical treatments

Following are the nonsurgical treatments:

  • Antibiotics: Topical or oral antibiotics are used to clear the infections caused by bacteria.
  • Scaling: It cleans the bacteria and tartar between the gums and teeth. It can be done by ultrasonic devices or instrument.
  • Root planning: It is used for smoothening of the surface of roots so that it obstructs the developing of tartar.

Surgical Treatments

Following are the surgical treatments:

  • Enamel matrix derivative application: It is a method where a gel (made for the respective purpose) is applied on the root of the infected tooth. The gel has proteins which are helps in development of enamel of teeth and also strengthens the bones and tissues.
  • Flap surgery: In this method small slits are made in gums so as to lift the gum tissues which will expose the root of the tooth and give way to good scaling. It is usually takes 1 to 3 hours and anesthesia (local) is used to perform this surgery.
  • Tissue regeneration: This method helps in the growth of the damaged bone. A fabric called biocompatible is placed between the bone and tooth so as to avoid any tissues which is not required to enter the part of the bone which is being getting healed.
  • Grafting of soft tissues: Due to the infection by bacteria there is loss of gum tissues and therefore tissues is grafted through surgery. Grafting could be of own tissues (from the palate) or it could be donated. It will lessen the decline in gum tissues and exposed root will be covered.
  • Bone Grafting: When the bone is damaged bone is grafted. It could be tiny parts of our own bone or it could be donated or artificial. Further loss of tooth will be prevented.

For prevention of periodontitis one has to go for regular dental cleanings, change toothbrush after 3-4 months and rinse thoroughly, also it is advisable to brush at least two times in a day.

Periodontal Disease pictures

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