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Periodontitis Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

What Is Periodontitis?

Ligaments and bones support our teeth. Periodontitis, the medical term is a gum infection which destroys and damages the bone and ligaments. The condition can lead to tooth loss.

Even though, the condition is common, yet preventable. Often, poor oral hygiene is the prime cause of its instigation. One can greatly minimize the chances of contracting periodontitis simply by practicing good oral hygiene which include:

  • Flossing teeth once every day.
  • Brushing teeth twice a day.
  • Pursuing dental checkups on regular basis.

What Are The Symptoms Of Periodontitis?

Few common symptoms of periodontitis are:

  • Red and shiny gums.
  • Breathe odor.
  • Bleeding gums.
  • Tender but painless gums.
  • Swollen gums.
  • Loose teeth.

What Causes Periodontitis?

It is believed that the condition starts with plaque. Basically, plaque is a sticky layer that consists of bacteria. It forms on the teeth when bacteria (generally present in the mouth) interact with sugars and starches (found in the food). Plaque is removed when teeth are regularly flossed and brushed, however it forms again rapidly, within a time span of twenty four hours. In case it remains on the teeth for three to four days, it can turn harder under the gumline forming into calculus, commonly known as tartar.

For bacteria, tartar serves as a reservoir. It makes plaque hard to remove. In the case, flossing and brushing do not tend to help and one may require professional cleaning to get rid of it. More damage is expected if tartar and plaque stays in the teeth for a longer period of time.
At first, gingival (part of gum surrounding the teeth’s base) is inflamed and irritated by tartar and plaque. However persistent inflammation ultimately causes the development of pockets between the teeth and gums. These pockets are filled with bacteria, tartar and plaque. Over time, the pockets get deeper, plus the building up of more bacteria takes place, finally advancing below the gum tissue. Such deep infection can lead to the loss of bone and tissue. In case bone is severely destroyed, then one can lose a single or even, more teeth!

What Are The Complications Of Periodontitis?

Few complications periodontitis can lead are:

How Is Periodontitis Diagnosed?

Diagnosing the condition is quite simple. It is based on the examination of the mouth and details of symptoms. The dentist will observe the buildup of tartar and plaque, whilst test for easy bleeding. In order to find out the severity, the dentist may:

  • Carry out dental X-rays.
  • Measure the depth of pocket through a dental instrument.

How Is Periodontitis Treated?

Its treatment aims to:

  • Get rid of the pockets formed around the teeth.
  • Prevent complications and damage to the surrounding bone.

However treatment works effectively if it is accompanied with practicing good oral hygiene. Few treatment options are:

  • Nonsurgical treatments (minor cases): scaling, root planing, antibiotics.
  • Surgical treatments (advanced cases): flap surgery, soft tissue grafts, bone grafting, guided tissue regeneration, enamel matrix derivative application.

By : Natural Health News

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