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Periodontal Care at Middletown Dental Care in Delaware
We might lose our teeth as we get older. We are more likely to keep our natural teeth for life if we take good care of our oral health and visit the dental office regularly for professional cleanings and examinations. The bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease can damage the hard structures of the teeth and the supporting tissues. Regular brushing and flossing along with professional cleanings can help to remove the bacteria and keep teeth healthy.
Periodontal care, also known as gum care or gum disease treatment, is an important aspect of dental care. It focuses on the health of the gums and supporting structures of the teeth. Periodontitis is a serious gum condition that can lead to tooth loss. If left untreated, the bacteria that cause periodontitis can lead to an infection in the gums, bones, and other connective tissues surrounding the teeth. This can cause the destruction of the tissues and loss of the teeth. If left untreated, periodontitis bacteria can cause the gums to recede, the teeth to become loose, and eventually result in tooth loss. Treatment options vary depending on the severity of the condition, ranging from professional cleanings to more advanced surgical procedures.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, affects the gum tissues and supporting structures of the teeth. It is caused by bacterial plaque buildup along the gum line, which can lead to inflammation, infection, and ultimately damage to the gums and bone that support the teeth.
Periodontal disease symptoms include swollen, red, or tender gums, bleeding gums, receding gums, and bad breath. These symptoms occur when the bacteria in plaque accumulate on the gums and cause inflammation. It can also lead to the destruction of the ligaments and bones that hold the teeth in place, resulting in tooth loss.
Common risk factors for periodontal disease include poor oral hygiene, smoking, hormonal changes (such as during pregnancy), certain medications, systemic health conditions (such as diabetes), genetic predisposition, and other factors that weaken the immune system.
Regular dental check-ups, professional cleanings, and good oral hygiene practices at home, including brushing at least twice a day, flossing daily, and using mouthwash, are essential for preventing and managing periodontal disease. If you suspect you may have periodontal disease or have concerns about your gum health, it is important to consult with a dental professional. This is for proper evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment.
Causes of Periodontal Disease
- Periodontal disease is caused by bacterial plaque buildup on the teeth and gums.
- When bacteria accumulate around the gum line and in between the teeth, they form a sticky film called plaque.
- Plaque buildup can lead to inflammation of the gums, bone loss, and eventually, periodontal disease.
- Poor oral hygiene, including inadequate brushing and flossing, can allow plaque to build up and harden into tartar (calculus), which can only be removed by professional dental cleanings.
- Other risk factors for periodontal disease include smoking, hormonal changes (such as during pregnancy), certain medications, systemic health conditions (such as diabetes), and genetic predisposition.
- Plaque is a sticky bacteria film that accumulates on teeth and along the gum line. It forms when bacteria in the mouth combine with sugars and starches in food and drink.
- Plaque produces toxins that irritate the gums and lead to inflammation and infection.
- If left untreated, this can damage the tissue and bone surrounding the teeth, and ultimately, cause periodontal disease.
Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
Everyone's gums contain bacteria. Bacteria are present in the mouth and found in saliva, on the tongue, on teeth and on gums. When bacteria come into contact with food particles and sugars, they form a sticky plaque on our teeth. This plaque can lead to gum disease if not removed. When plaque accumulates on the gums, it causes inflammation which can result in redness, swelling, and bleeding. If left untreated, it can lead to more serious gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis which can cause tooth loss. It is actually beneficial for us to have a small amount of bacteria in our bodies. However, when bacteria multiply in your mouth, they can often become out of control, growing and multiplying until severe problems. There are certain symptoms that tell of gum disease, such as the following.
- Gums that are red, swollen, or tender
- Gums that bleed easily when brushing or flossing
- Receding gums
- Persistent bad breath
- Loose or shifting teeth
- Formation of deep pockets between gums and teeth
- Changes in the teeth's position or bite
- Changes in the fit of partial dentures
Treatment for Periodontal Disease
Treatment for periodontal disease may vary depending on the severity and stage of the disease. In addition, it depends on the individual's overall oral health and medical condition. It may include non-surgical treatments such as deep cleaning (scaling and root planing), antimicrobial mouth rinses, and local antibiotic treatments. Surgical treatments such as gum flap surgery, bone grafting, or gum grafting may be necessary in more advanced cases. Maintenance care and improved oral hygiene practices at home are also important for managing periodontal disease. Some common treatment options for periodontal disease include:
Non-surgical treatments: Non-surgical treatments are typically the first line of defense for mild to moderate periodontal disease. These treatments include professionally administered scaling and root planning, which is a deep cleaning of the teeth and gums to remove plaque and tartar buildup. This treatment reduces inflammation and infection, and promotes healthy bacteria in the mouth. Antibiotics may be used in the form of gels, chips, or microspheres placed directly into gum pockets to control infection.
Surgical treatments: Surgical interventions may be necessary in more advanced periodontal disease cases. This can include flap surgery, which involves the removal of tartar and damaged tissue, and the reattachment of healthy gum tissue to the teeth. Bone and tissue grafts may also be used to restore lost tissue, and osseous surgery may be necessary to reshape the bones surrounding the teeth. In cases where bone loss has occurred due to periodontal disease, bone grafting may be performed to regenerate lost bone and support the teeth. Gum grafting may be done to cover exposed tooth roots and protect them from further damage. It may also be done to improve receding gums appearance.
Maintenance care: After periodontal treatment, ongoing maintenance care is crucial to manage the disease and prevent recurrence. This may involve regular professional cleanings, more frequent dental check-ups, and diligent oral hygiene practices at home, including brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash as recommended. Because plaque and tartar are constantly forming on the teeth, regular professional cleanings are needed to remove these substances, which can cause inflammation of the gums and lead to periodontal disease. Without regular upkeep, the disease can quickly recur and cause further damage to the gums and teeth.
Consulting with a dental professional for proper evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment recommendations is crucial for the effective management of periodontal disease.
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Can periodontal disease be prevented?
Yes, periodontal disease can be prevented. The best way to avoid periodontal disease is good oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing should be done at least twice a day, and mouthwash should be used at least once a day. Regular dental check-ups and professional cleanings are also important for preventing periodontal disease. Eating a balanced and nutritious diet and avoiding smoking can also help reduce the risk of developing periodontal disease. Brushing, flossing and mouthwash remove plaque. Periodontal disease is the result of plaque, an accumulation of bacteria on the teeth that can cause inflammation of the gums. Lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, managing systemic health conditions, and maintaining a healthy diet can also reduce the risk of periodontal disease.
Taking care of our gums and teeth is essential for overall oral health. Consulting with a dental professional for proper evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment recommendations is crucial for effective management of periodontal disease.
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