An insidious disease!
Periodontal diseases are bacterial infections that attack and destroy the surrounding and supportive tissue of the teeth. In the course of their lives, 9 persons out of 10 will suffer, at one time or another, from a form of periodontal disease. When suffering from a periodontal disease, the gum around the tooth, as well as the alveolar bone, are affected to different degrees. In the majority of cases, periodontal diseases are painless and damages are progressive, so that only your dentist can diagnose them during your periodical exams. Prevention is the best way to detect these diseases.
During your biannual visits, if your dentist suspects that you have a periodontal disease, he will suggest that you take a periodontal exam in order to properly target the extent of the problem and the cause.
The dentist will examine your gums in detail, measure any possible bone loss around every tooth and, if necessary, take radiographs to make a diagnostic. Afterward, he will discuss your overall health with you and teach you good oral hygiene techniques to follow at home. Once the exam is completed, your dentist will inform you on the extent of the illness and recommend various treatments for your situation.
Treatments most often given to heal periodontal diseases are:
- Deep cleanings performed under local anaesthesia (curettage and surfacing)
- A reshaping of the bone and the gum
- A gum and/or bone graft
- And afterward, frequent cleanings and follow-ups are essential to ensure a stable oral condition.
Progression of the disease
Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gum mainly caused by daily plaque build-up (bacterial film) on teeth and gums. If the plaque is not properly removed with proper brushing and flossing, the following symptoms may appear:
- Bleeding gums during brushing
- Red and swollen gums
- Gum sensitivity
- Possible recurring bad breath
If the disease is diagnosed at this stage and good oral hygiene habits are resumed along with proper biannual visits and professional cleanings at your dentist, the gum will go back to being firm and pink, and the gingivitis will disappear.
If gingivitis is not treated, the tissue supporting the tooth will destruct and become periodontitis. The dental plaque bacteria will attack the ligaments surrounding the teeth and will break down the surrounding bone supporting the teeth. The gums surrounding the teeth will retract and, in the most advanced cases, the teeth will move and there will be presence of purulent liquid.
Periodontitis involves progressive loss of the alveolar bone around the teeth, and if left untreated, can lead to the subsequent loss of teeth.
Sometimes, a dentist may need to refer his patient to a periodontist in order to establish a proper treatment plan and perform the necessary surgeries.
At the Centre dentaire Patricia Skaf, most periodontal surgeries and treatments are done at the clinic by Dr. Patricia Skaf who has a lot of expertise in periodontal surgeries thus avoiding you from having to visit specialists.
Did you know?
A number of studies have demonstrated that when there is bleeding in the oral cavity, bacteria enter the bloodstream. In some cases, the prolonged and repeated presence of bacteria in the blood can trigger serious health problems such as:
– Cardiovascular diseases
– Pneumonia and other respiratory problems
– Complications during pregnancy