Here at Kevin Nail, DDS Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we are very experienced in the treatment of periodontitis. This is a common affliction that damages the bones that support your teeth and the soft tissue. The alveolar bone around the mouth gets lost if it stays untreated for too long. Periodontitis causes inflammation around the gum and the teeth. It occurs when bacteria build up in pockets that form between the gumline and teeth. Inflammation occurs when the immune system reacts to the infection resulting in the release of toxins. The soft tissues swell and cause pain, while the gums recede. Staying with this condition untreated for long can result in tooth loss and increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Causes of Periodontitis
Gum disease or periodontitis affects the area all the way from the exposed tooth to the jawbone. The problem usually begins simply enough with some plaque formation. This sticky film is the result of starches and sugar from food interacting with bacteria. With good oral hygiene, it is easily removed. Poor hygiene often results in this plaque building up and hardening into tartar below the gumline. This cannot be removed with ordinary brushing and flossing.
The condition then turns into a case of gingivitis. Here you experience mild irritation and inflammation. If left untreated, it escalates into periodontitis, as the pockets of bacteria grow deeper. At its worst, teeth become loose, chewing becomes painful, gums bleed, breath stinks, and teeth can fall out.
Besides poor oral hygiene, there are certain conditions that put people at greater risk of developing periodontitis. This includes advanced age, family history of periodontal disease, and immune-suppressing treatments for conditions like cancer and HIV. Chewing tobacco, smoking, and alcoholism can also affect the blood supply to the soft tissues around the mouth, encouraging them to weaken and shrink. This encourages gum recession and the development of plaque.
How Periodontitis Is Treated
Our team of qualified dentists employs techniques such as deep cleaning and scaling to remove tartar and plaque around a tooth and restore periodontal health. We first carry out debridement and scaling to remove plaque and calculus below the gumline. Our team either uses an ultrasonic device or hand tools to break up the calculus and plaque that has built up around a tooth. Then root planning follows to try to smoothen any rough area around a tooth. Rough patches on the roots of a tooth provide a suitable surface for bacteria to adhere, which increases the risk of periodontitis advancing.
Depending on the amount of calculus and plaque that has built up around a tooth, it may take several visits to our dental clinic to complete the procedure. More frequent checkups will be prescribed to preserve the cleanings, perform touchups, and monitor the progress of the recovering gums and affected teeth. Our dentist will also send you home with special mouth rinse products, such as chlorhexidine, for controlling bacteria after the surgery or when treating the gum.
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Call us, Kevin Nail, DDS Family & Cosmetic Dentistry at (346) 250-3575 today for more information on periodontal care or other dental procedures.