Periodontitis is the loss of supportive gum structure around the teeth. The dentist or hygienist will probe the gum pockets to evaluate the attachment level of gums. Measurements above 3 mm indicate the presence of periodontitis. As measurements increase, the severity of the gum disease increases as well. The end result is loss of gum tissue, bone, and eventually the teeth. Approximately 3 out of 5 adults have periodontitis. Causes and contributing factors:
- Specific Harmful bacteria
- Genetic predisposition to inflammatory diseases. You may show more damage from inflammation due to your genetic make up. So if inflammatory diseases are common in your family the likelihood of increased damage from gum disease is a concern.
- Unhealthy diet. (Mom WAS right). Eating a healthy diet high in vegetables, whole grains, and low sugar will improve your overall health. A healthy balanced diet also reduces the amount of inflammation in your body.
- Ineffective dental hygiene.
Options for Periodontal Disease Treatment
Scaling and root planning (Deep Cleaning) is the removal of the calculus and bacterial underneath and around the gums which are responsible for the tissue and bone destruction. You will receive an anesthetic spray that will make the procedure comfortable. The roots of the teeth are “planed” (made smooth), removing the rough calculus surface down to the smooth surface of the root. This creates a clean surface for the gum’s connective tissue to reattach, allowing the gum pockets to improve. A soft tissue Diolase laser is used to kill the remnants of harmful bacteria left behind. The laser also improves healing by promoting collagen formation.
Research has repeatedly shown that the harmful bacterial film takes about 90 days to regain a foothold in the gum pockets. Thus, Gum maintenance is recommended at least every 3 months to keep periodontitis at bay. Unfortunately, periodontitis is a lifetime disease. Without regular professional care by your Chattanooga dentists and good home hygiene, the disease and destruction will return. Periodontitis is a disease that requires continuous efforts to keep under control. Much like Diabetes, there is no magic bullet cure, however there are preventive and active interventions to keep it controlled and reduced. To maintain the benefits and to slow down the disease progression, improving home brushing and flossing is a must. Home maintenance after the removal of harmful bacteria and calculus is a central ingredient to healing and gingival health.
Unfortunately, if periodontitis is left untreated or, in rare situations, does not respond to conventional scaling and root planning, the disease can progress and require periodontal surgery. Periodontal surgery is more invasive in handling the advanced disease, which is the reason why you should try all non-surgical methods first and focus on the value of prevention to avoid this progressed stage of periodontitis.