Perplexed By Periodontitis: Understanding And Treating This Serious Form Of Gum Disease

Posted on: 31 March 2016

The underlying health of your mouth, teeth, and gums is important, so you may already understand the need for proper brushing and flossing. However, routine checkups by your dentist are also important to prevent or diagnose more involved dental issues. While the beginning stage of gum disease, or gingivitis, causes light bleeding during brushing, tender gums, and a foul taste in the mouth, you may not pay attention to these early signs. Without treating this condition early, it can develop into a more serious case of gum disease. Known as periodontitis, this severe case of gum disease greatly affects the look and health of your smile. Using this guide, you will understand the signs of periodontitis and learn the best options for restoring your oral health.

Signs of Severe Periodontitis

Each patient is different, but a severe case of periodontitis will most likely cause the following signs:

  • Swollen, red, and tender gums
  • Pain and discomfort in the gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Foul taste in the mouth
  • Bad breath
  • Receding gum tissue
  • Tooth decay and infections
  • Loose teeth or tooth loss
  • Broken, chipped teeth
  • Secretion of pus from gums

If you are experiencing the above symptoms, visit your dentist immediately. After a full evaluation, your dentist will be able to design a treatment plan suited to your specific needs.

Treatment Options

In most cases, a scaling and root planning procedure will be the first step in treating your periodontitis. During this procedure, plaque and tartar is scraped away from the teeth before smoothing the roughness of the roots, which prevents future buildup. Multiple scaling and root planning treatments may be necessary before undergoing surgical treatments to treat your gum disease.

Your dentist will also prescribe antibiotics to treat the infections related to the periodontitis. Oral antibiotics, antibacterial mouth rinses, and even topical gels to apply directly to the gum tissue and in between teeth are all beneficial for treating this severe case of gum disease.

Periodontitis destroys the supporting tissue and bone of your teeth. This causes pockets to develop in the gum tissue, increasing space for bacteria to grow. Unfortunately, removing the bacteria from these pockets can be difficult. To remove the bacteria and treat the periodontitis, pocket reduction surgery may be required.

Also known as flap surgery, this procedure folds back the gum tissue for an easier, more effective manner of removing the disease-causing bacteria. After cleaning, the gum tissue is secured back in place to prevent any buildup of bacteria in the future.

If you are experiencing tissue or bone loss, grafting may be necessary. Tissue grafting involves removing a small amount of tissue from the roof of your mouth before reattaching it to the damaged gum tissue. If the bone surrounding the tooth root has been destroyed, small fragments of your bone will be removed and placed into the damaged area of the root. This bone graft secures the existing tooth in place, preventing tooth loss.

Smile Restoration

After treating your periodontitis, you may want to restore your smile back to a more appealing state. Thankfully, dental implants are an effective option for improving your smile's appeal after undergoing treatment for your periodontitis.

To restore your smile using implants, dentists will need to surgically implant a titanium screw or cylinder into the jawbone. A small attachment, or abutment, is placed at the top of the implant. This abutment is necessary for securing the artificial tooth onto the implanted piece in the jawbone.

The titanium implant will fuse with your surrounding bone within 3 to 6 months, ensuring a stable, durable, and natural smile restoration.

Treating gum disease early is ideal, but you may not notice the symptoms until the issue becomes more severe. Using this guide on periodontitis, you will understand your options for treating this severe case of gum disease. Click here to learn more, or contact you dentist.