Periodontal disease – gum disease
What causes periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease is a very grave gum disease that can affect not only the gums but also the alveolar bone, and in a very short period it can cause tooth loss. The very beginning of the disease often goes unnoticed, without much inconvenience and completely painless. When first symptoms appear, you should immediately seek help from your dentist. Otherwise, you’ll risk serious advancement of this disease. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, when this type of disease advances to a chronic stage, it can cause the following conditions: permanent tooth loss, risk of stroke and cardiac arrest, risk of rheumatism, as well as risk of premature birth of underweighted children.
he most common initial form is gingivitis (inflammation of the gingiva). If neglected and not treated, the infection will spread onto the alveolar bone and lead to its decay and the beginning of the so called periodontal pockets. At this stage, a fertile ground for all types of bacteria is formed, because once the plaque enters these pockets, it is difficult to remove it, and the entire area is gradually infected. However, there is still no sharp pain that would indicate the gravity of the condition. At this stage, one may experience difficulties, such as:
- bad breath,
- bleeding gums,
- gradual start of teeth migration,
- gum retraction, leaving the root exposed to external factors.
All these changes are irreversible, but with proper therapy the process can be stopped. Apart from insufficient oral hygiene, periodontal disease can also be caused by hereditary factors that also lead to irregularly positioned teeth rows and improper bite.
The course of the disease differs from patient to patient. The process can be slow, but sometimes it can also be rather aggressive and quick, so that in a short period of time, significant changes and deteriorations take place.
How to prevent periodontal disease?
Regular and proper oral hygiene is the first necessary step in preventing this disease. Regular dental check-ups are of paramount importance, not only to solve existing problems, but also as a means to prevent new ones. Besides plaque, which is one of the causes of periodontal disease, the condition of our immune system also plays an important part. Numerous factors can harm our inner balance and weaken our immunity, thus creating fertile ground for the development of many contagions and diseases. Proper nutrition, quitting smoking and proper oral hygiene are essential in the combat against periodontal disease.
Tests for plaque presence in the pockets
By using contemporary methods and tests, today we can precisely determine the exact presence of the plaque bacteria in the dental pockets and we can timely react with proper antibiotics. PET test is a sophisticated method that reveals the level of pathogen bacteria in the mouth in comparison to the already existing layers that regularly exist in the mouth. This test is simple and painless, and it consists of taking a sample from the periodontal pocket and sending the swab to a lab for analysis. The test is performed by a German laboratory, MIP Pharma GmbH, and the results are received within approximately 15 days, along with a complete therapy recommendation.
How to treat periodontal disease?
The treatment lasts for several weeks, depending on the stage of the disease. To achieve results required for further treatment, the initial phase involves prevention and termination of the gingiva inflammatory processes. This includes professional teeth cleaning when the dentists removes all the sediments from the teeth. The patients need to be educated on how to properly clean their mouth during treatment and what products to use. Apart from plaque cleaning, the removal of the tissue affected by periodontal disease is sometimes required, as well. This treatment requires specific instruments and local anaesthesia. More serious forms require a surgical intervention, along with the filling in of bone defects with a replacing bone (BIOOS).
After successful treatment, a check-up is scheduled after 3 to 8 weeks to perform a detail examination of the successfulness of the conducted treatment. Even if periodontal disease is eliminated, the risk of recidivism in such cases is several times higher than in other people. Hence, regular dental check-ups are necessary in order to prevent the current state from deteriorating