Periodontitis is gum disease characterised by inflammation of the tissue surrounding your teeth. It causes gaps, which your dentist may refer to as 'pockets', to open up between the affected teeth and your gums and this can lead to infection and tooth loss. Here's what you need to know about periodontitis:
Periodontitis can be caused by a build-up of plaque around your teeth. Plaque is a sticky substance that's packed full of bacteria, and the bacteria thrive on sugars in food. If plaque is allowed to build up it can cause tartar to form, which can only be removed by your dentist or dental hygienist. Tartar traps bacteria around your teeth and the bacteria irritate your gums, causing inflammation over time.
In addition to having a large population of bacteria thriving around your gum line, certain medical conditions can make you more susceptible to developing periodontitis. Diabetics are at an increased risk of developing any type of infection, while anyone with a weakened immune system may find it more difficult to fight off the bacteria that's attempting to colonise their gum tissue.
Symptoms of periodontitis include:
Treatment will depend on the severity of the periodontitis, but may include antibiotics to clear an infection and any of the following:
Scaling And Planing -Your dentist will remove tartar from your teeth and gum line before gently filing your teeth at your gum line to create a smooth surface that will make it more difficult for plaque to stick to your teeth in the future.
Pocket Reduction Surgery - The gaps between your affected teeth and gums will be cleaned and your gum tissue will be surgically secured in place and the gaps closed to prevent further infection or inflammation.
Soft Tissue Grafts - Damaged tissue along your gum line is replaced using tissue from the roof of your mouth. This prevents your gums from receding further and protects the roots of your teeth.
Enamel Matrix Derivative Application - In severe cases of periodontitis the roots of your teeth may be exposed and become diseased. This treatment uses a gel containing proteins that can stimulate the damaged roots to growth healthy bone and tissue, which may save your teeth.
Regular dental check-ups will allow your dentist to spot early signs of periodontitis. However, if you start to experience any symptoms don't wait until your next routine check-up to have your teeth and gums examined. Schedule an appointment with your dentist (like those at Precision Dental Care @ Kingston) as soon as possible to minimise the damage to your teeth and gums.
As a mum, I know how essential sport can be to children's development. Through team sports like soccer, kids learn persistence, sportsmanship and the value of supporting their team members. However, all that learning carries some risk as well, and a stray elbow or a ball to the face can result in oral injuries. I have been the mum rushing to the emergency room with a precious permanent tooth sitting in a cup of milk. Admittedly, at the time, I wasn't even sure if the cup of milk was the right solution. As a parent, you will face those situations, and I'm here to make sure you know what to do when they pop up. With this blog, let's explore children's dentistry and sports injuries together... I want you to have the info you need to stay cool, calm and collected, regardless of how many teeth are on the pitch.