Periodontitis is, by far, one of the most severe gum diseases. It is caused due to the accumulated plaque on the surface of the teeth, which gradually infects the surrounding gums. Patients who suffer from periodontitis may initially notice small traces of blood while brushing their teeth, or experience pain while chewing food.
What causes gum diseases?
Several direct or indirect factors can cause gum disease. Some of them are as follows:
- Accumulated plaque and tartar on the teeth
- Smoking and chewing tobacco
- Clenching of jaws or bruxism
- Ill-effects of certain medication
- Health conditions such as high-stress levels and diabetes
- Poor nutrition
- Improper brushing and flossing
- External injuries to the teeth or gums
The leading cause of periodontitis is plaque and tartar. Plaque is the transparent layer of microbes that get deposited on the teeth. When plaque isn’t removed at regular intervals, it eventually goes on to form a dark and sticky matter called tartar, which is very difficult to get rid of. Tartar can house several thousands of bacteria, which may come in direct contact with the surrounding gums. This can primarily lead to their infection and later advance to a much severe stage of periodontitis.
Symptoms of periodontitis
- Bleeding and release of pus from the gums
- Inflammation and severe pain in the gums
- Loosening of the teeth from their sockets
- Receding of gums below the natural gum line
- Bad breath
- Decaying of the gum tissues
- Tooth loss
How can periodontitis be prevented?
Effective oral hygiene is highly important to stay away from gum diseases. Regular brushing and flossing get rid of the bacteria from the mouth, thereby significantly reducing the formation of plaque. Choosing a fluoride toothpaste can strengthen the teeth and keep them away from cavities. Also, the excessive consumption of sugary foods should be avoided.
As a treatment procedure, the dentist may initially recommend scaling and root planing. These procedures are carried out using an ultrasonic scaling device, which has a metal tip that vibrates at high frequencies. When the tip is brought in contact with tartar deposits, they can be dislodged and washed away with a continuous jet of water. Root planing is used to clean the tooth roots and smoothen them out to avoid the deposit of tartar and food debris.
When you notice any signs of periodontitis, such as bleeding or receding gums, make sure you visit a dentist immediately to have the condition diagnosed. Staying ignorant of periodontitis can cost patients their teeth, as extreme cases of periodontal can lead to tooth loss. Visiting the dentist for a regular consultation at least once every six months can keep gum diseases in check.
Please schedule an appointment online or call us at (408) 371-1070 to have a consultation with any of our Los Gatos Dental Group dentists, and we will be happy to help!