Accumulation of dental plaque on tooth surfaces causes an immune inflammatory response of the periodontal tissues, which consequently leads to periodontal disease. The main goal of gum disease treatment is to control the infection and to prevent the spread of local inflammation into the systemic one. Symptoms of gum disease can be mild such as red or swollen gums (at the beginning), but also serious one such as loose teeth (at the later stages of periodontal disease).
Importance of maintaining good oral hygiene and proper education about types of gum disease is the first and most important steps in the implementation of all preventive and therapeutic measures. The dentist role in this education, but also in the patient’s motivation, is crucial to this process.
Dental Plaque, Smoking, and Other Risk Factors
This is formed by the buildup of leftover food on the tooth’s surface and it poses a platform for the spreading of cariogenic bacteria. Metabolic and chemical products of these bacteria lower pH, which consequently leads to tooth enamel demineralization and gum inflammation.
Proper oral hygiene habits, accepted during childhood, are the best gum disease treatment at home. It means that use of appropriate dental tools and products, efficient and frequent teeth brushing, flossing, using mouthwashes, and creating of consistent habits to maintain oral health are very important factors in the fight against accumulating of dental plaque.
When dental plaque is difficult to control with these basic home measures, professional removal of soft deposits from the teeth is necessary. Sometimes, plaque can harden (tartar or calculus) and from that point, it cannot be removed by brushes, only by dental procedures such as scaling and root planing.
Smoking is one of the most important risk factors for gum disease. Symptoms like multiple gingival recessions and higher numbers of periodontal pockets are more often seen in smokers. A particular characteristic of periodontal disease in smokers is accelerated alveolar bone loss and greater impact on furcation which is resulting in a loss of more teeth in a shorter time period. Interestingly, as opposed to other clinical periodontal signs, in smokers, gingival inflammation and gingival bleeding are decreased.
Other Risk Factors
Among the great number of risk factors, it is worth to mention that some medications and systemic diseases can have a direct or indirect impact on the course of gum disease. Diabetes mellitus, rheumatoid arthritis and hormonal changes due to the pregnancy may worsen the condition of the gums. People who are using anti-depressants often have signs of xerostomia (dry mouth), which indirectly affects the normal oral cavity processes. Bad genetics and aging leave visible and unchangeable traces on the periodontal tissue, but good oral hygiene regime can help in limiting them.
Types, Symptoms, and Diagnosis of Gum Disease
Types of Gum Disease
Main oral manifestations and types of gum disease are gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that can usually be reversed with daily brushing and flossing and regular cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist. This form of gum disease does not include any loss of bone and tissue that hold teeth in place. In periodontitis, gums pull away from the teeth and form spaces (periodontal pockets), that become infected. If not treated, the bones, gums, and tissue that support the teeth are destroyed. The teeth may eventually become loose and have to be removed.
Symptoms and signs of periodontal disease can be various, from mild to severe ones, and are depending on the development of the disease. The early stage of gum disease (gingivitis) is characterized by red, swollen gums that bleed easily when teeth are brushed or flossed.
Gingivitis always precedes and acts as a warning sign for the more serious condition of periodontal disease (periodontitis).
At this point, the changes on the periodontal tissue, such as loose teeth, may be irreversible. Symptoms of gum disease include:
- Bad breath (halitosis) and a metallic taste in the mouth
- Bright red or swollen gums
- Bleeding and pain when the gums are touched
- Painful chewing
- Receding gums, which make the teeth look longer
- Sensitive teeth with extra space between them
- Loose teeth
The dentist should perform a physical examination of teeth, gums and surrounding tissue. To measure gums, the dentist will use a probe (a tiny ruler specially designed for periodontal tissue examination) to check for and measure any pockets.
In a healthy mouth, the depth of these pockets is usually between 1 and 3 millimeters. This test for pocket depth is usually painless.
In addition, an X-ray could be taken to see whether there is any bone loss around the tooth.
Treatment of Gum Disease
Regular dental checkups and application of basics preventive measures at home (tooth brushing, mouth washing, and dental flossing) are a good combination to achieve a good result and condition in the oral cavity.
As it said, the main etiological factor of caries and periodontal disease is dental plaque. To be sure that dental plaque is removed properly, sometimes it takes more than talk to a patient. The main therapeutic approach in curing periodontal disease is the mechanical debridement, in order to remove dental biofilm and dental calculus. Here are seven tips on how to treat gum disease:
Good Oral Hygiene Regime
Any type of treatment requires that the patient keep up good daily care at home. It is recommended to follow the dental professional instructions:
- Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
- Use floss or interdental brush regularly to remove plaque from between teeth
- Use mouthwashes such as chlorhexidine
Since smoking is one of the most important risk factors for gum disease, elimination of cigarettes and nicotine can improve oral hygiene greatly.
Polishing produces smooth surfaces on the teeth, thereby reducing the adherence of oral accretions: dental plaque, extrinsic stains, and calculus. The polishing should be done with a brush or rubber cup. Speed and pressure of operating must be controlled by dental practitioner to avoid the temperature rising because it could provoke pathological changes in the pulp. Both the upper and the lower dental arch must be polished and all surfaces of the tooth should be included.
The dentist or dental therapist removes the plaque through a deep-cleaning method called scaling and root planing. Scaling means the scraping off the tartar from above and below the gum line. Root planing gets rid of rough spots on the tooth root where the germs gather and help remove bacteria that contribute to the disease. In some cases, a laser may be used to remove plaque and tartar. This procedure can result in less bleeding, swelling, and discomfort compared to traditional deep cleaning methods.
Medications may be used, as adjunctive therapy aimed at reducing the bone loss, with treatment that includes scaling and root planning, but they cannot always take the place of surgery. Depending on how far the disease has progressed, the dentist may still suggest surgical treatment. Some antibiotics, such as metronidazole or amoxicillin, can be prescribed before, during or after therapy.
The goal of the flap reflection is primarily to provide improved visual access to the periodontally involved tissues. The gums are lifted back, and the tartar is removed. The gums are then sutured back into place, so they fit closely to the tooth.
Bone and Tissue Grafts
In addition to flap surgery, the dentist may suggest procedures to help regenerate any bone or gum tissue lost to periodontitis. Bone grafting, in which natural or synthetic bone is placed in the area of bone loss, can help promote bone growth.
When considering any gum disease treatment, you should talk to your dentist. Knowledge transfer from dentist to patient plays a big part in maintaining good oral health. This can be achieved by pointing to the risk factors of periodontal disease and using special educational and motivational methods through the use of preventive prophylactic procedures.
Control over the implementation of that knowledge should be enhanced with patient nice experience after the dental procedure. Dental Suite team will provide you the best possible gum examination, treatment, and advice. If you are looking for an experienced dentist who will give you full attention and make you feel at home, dental suit clinics are the right place for you.