Diagnosing And Treating Periodontitis

Dentist Blog

Periodontal disease can become serious enough to cause bone and tooth loss. The condition, which typically begins as gingivitis, can progress if not treated properly. Gingivitis, which is the inflammation of the gingival tissues, is often noticed when blood is found on the bristles of a toothbrush or the gums appear red and puffy. At this stage, the condition can be corrected with a simple increase in oral hygiene. 

The gums become inflamed by the acids that are excreted by oral bacteria as byproducts of their feeding process. As more bacteria build up in the mouth, additional acid is released, and the gums become increasingly irritated.

To remove bacteria and neutralize oral acids, the teeth should be brushed and flossed regularly. The flossing component of the hygiene regimen helps ensure that plaque, which is made up of oral microbes and particles of food, is removed from areas between the teeth and along the gum line. With the reduction in oral acids, the gingivitis is apt to subside on its own. 

However, once the gum disease progresses to a more serious condition called periodontitis, it is unlikely to resolve without the help of a dentist. Here is a bit of information about periodontitis and how it is treated.

How Is Periodontitis Diagnosed?

Although a dentist may see signs of gum inflammation during a visual inspection of the mouth, they use additional methods to confirm a diagnosis of periodontitis. The provider may insert a small probe into spaces along the gum line to check their depth.

These spaces, which are called pockets, develop as the gums pull away from the teeth. Bacteria fill the pockets, infecting the gums and sometimes even the jawbone. The insertion of the probe can help the dentist determine the severity of the periodontal disease. The deeper the pocket, the more severe the condition.

The dentist may also x-ray the mouth. The x-rays provide snapshots of the condition of the tissues that are covered by the gums. Signs of infection and bone loss may be apparent. The dentist may also notice other signs of periodontitis, such as bad breath, pus oozing from the gums, and loose teeth.

How Is Periodontitis Treated?

Periodontitis is often treated using a root planing and scaling procedure. During the treatment, the gums are pulled back, exposing the roots of the teeth. Tartar and bacteria are removed from below the gum line. The roots of the teeth are scaled and smoothed to lessen gingival irritation.

If you believe that you may be suffering from periodontal disease, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area, such as Bradley Piotrowski, DDS, MSD, LLC


29 May 2019

Maximizing Your Smile Power

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