While grouped with gum disease, periodontitis is essentially a more extreme case. Gingivitis begins as gum inflammation. If gingivitis goes without treatment, it can develop into periodontitis. Eventually, the inner layers of the gum begin to pull away from the teeth. This forms pockets on either side of the teeth. The spaces collect debris that brushing your teeth will not always remove, causing infection in the gums and the gum line to recede. As the gum line recedes, the pockets enlarge, and you might run the risk of teeth falling out and suffering from other serious oral conditions.
The major culprit of periodontitis is plaque. When plaque builds up around teeth, it begins to infect the gums, leading to gingivitis. Other secondary factors may also impact the development of gingivitis. For women, hormonal changes due to pregnancy, menopause or other changes in hormone levels can bring about the development of gingivitis. Certain forms of illnesses, ranging from diabetes to HIV, can affect the immune system, resulting in a loss of elasticity in the gums. Left untreated, gingivitis may eventually progress to serious gum disease, such as periodontitis.
Some oral forms of medication have a side effect resulting in the reduction of saliva otherwise called dry mouth syndrome. Saliva protects the gums and teeth by washing away harmful bacteria from the tooth surface. If you brush and floss every day yet you still are experiencing the early signs of gum disease, you should see your dental professional and medical practitioner, as you may be experiencing other medical issues.
Many people with mild gum disease don’t show any symptoms, but if you notice anything different about your mouth or teeth, be sure to tell your dentist. Possible signs of periodontal disease include tooth sensitivity, pain when you chew, red or bleeding gums, and bad breath. If you do have periodontal disease, the treatment will vary depending on the severity of the infection.
Do your gums bleed after brushing your teeth? Regular brushing should not cause your gums to bleed. Now, if you just started to floss again, you might see some blood due to the irritation it causes in the gums initially. However, this should only last a short amount of time. If you continue to notice that your gums bleed when you brush or floss, it might indicate the early stages of gingivitis.
Other symptoms include swollen gums, the persistence of bad breath (or having a bad taste in your mouth), shifting teeth and the formation of pockets between your teeth and your gums. On top of this, it is possible to have gum disease that is not clearly visible, depending on the area of the gums suffering from periodontitis. Seeing your dental professional regularly allows you to stay on top of this potential condition.
Simply put, prevention is the best periodontal disease treatment. To catch dental problems before they become severe, it’s good to get into the habit of checking your mouth daily as part of your overall dental health care routine. Look for changes in the colour or appearance of your teeth, gums, tongue and gingival tissues.
Preventing periodontal disease and the development of gingivitis is rather straightforward. By simply following proper plaque control measures, periodontitis prevention could be easy. For starters, you must brush all surfaces of your teeth twice a day remembering to clean along the gum line and floss at least once a day. Using an antibacterial rinse after you brush can help control plaque growth in hard to reach areas. If you have already developed pockets around the gums, an oral rinse may help with bacteria and debris stuck in the pockets. Additionally, going in to see your dental professional for regular teeth cleanings is recommended.
So, what happens if you have developed gum disease and need help with managing your periodontitis? Well, after receiving professional dental treatment, your dental professional may suggest some toothpaste options that are designed specifically for gum health. An Oral-B electric toothbrush helps with plaque control as well. As long as the situation hasn't reached a critical level, this is really all you need to do (while following proper plaque control steps). However, if the pockets are large and will not return to normal on their own, oral surgery might be needed to tighten the gum tissue back up. By attending your regular dental appointments, you can avoid this kind of extreme treatment.
Severe periodontal disease treatment may involve a deep cleaning procedure called scaling and root planing, in which the dental hygienist or dentist removes tartar from both above and below the gum line and smooths rough spots on tooth roots where plaque-causing bacteria tend to gather.
Be sure to follow your dental hygienist or dentist’s instructions for regular oral care at home in order to get the most benefit out of your periodontal disease treatment. That means twice-daily tooth brushing and daily interdental cleaning, plus regular visits to the dentist for follow-up and professional cleaning. If you have problems following a regular oral care routine, ask your dental hygienist or dentist to recommend products that can make your routine easier, such as Electric toothbrushes.
Be sure to continue to check your mouth daily for any signs of recurring infection.