Periodontitis is a severe oral condition that affects the gums. It is characterized by certain devastating symptoms, and if left untreated for a long time, it can take a massive toll on one’s oral health. It is known to cause decay of gums, loss of teeth, and jawbone deterioration as well.
How does one develop periodontitis?
Like most oral conditions, periodontitis is caused due to the accumulated plaque and tartar deposits. Plaque is a thin, transparent film of bacteria that forms all over the teeth. Over time, plaque turns into a dark, hard, sticky, and difficult-to-remove substance called tartar. Tartar contains thousands of bacteria that release harmful acids when they feed on the food debris in the mouth. These acids inflame and decay the gums.
In some instances, oral trauma can also lead to periodontitis. Injuries to the gums can cause cuts and bruises that expose the tissues to the microbes in the mouth. It starts as a mild condition called gingivitis, and eventually, advances to become periodontitis. Cavities and root canal infection can also cause gum diseases.
What are the symptoms of periodontitis?
- Inflammation and decay of the gum tissues
- Deeper gum pockets that can house a lot of microbes and food debris
- Release of pus or formation of an abscess
- Persistent bleeding from the gum line, especially while brushing
- Loosening of the teeth from their sockets due to jawbone deterioration
- Reddening of the gums
How can periodontitis be treated?
Since periodontitis is caused due to tartar deposits close to the gums, getting rid of them can ease the condition and reduce its severity. Hence, we recommend undergoing scaling and root planing procedures. Scaling involves the removal of tartar deposits from the surface of the teeth and root planing to get rid of the microbes from the root surfaces. It is also used to smoothen out the root surfaces that have imperfections.
Next, the decayed gum tissues will have to be removed. For this, we use a hand-held laser. The laser instantly vaporizes the infected tissues and seals the wound, which eliminates the chances of bleeding and reduces pain during the procedure significantly. In the case of gum receding, healthy tissues can be extracted from the palate and grafted to the affected area, thereby replenishing their volume. Medication may be suggested in the form of surface applicants or oral pills. One such medication that has a notable effect on the severity of the condition is Arestin. It is usually placed in between the teeth and the gums (gum pockets) and provides relief from the disease. Though periodontitis isn’t completely curable, it can surely be treated and controlled.
Please schedule an online appointment or call us at (773) 374-9778 for Chicago and (708) 914-4381 for Homewood to have a consultation with Dr. Moore, and we will be happy to help.