Periodontitis is an illness that affects all tissue around the teeth and gums and may make it impossible for the tooth to remain fixed. It remains the principal cause of tooth loss and it is not uncommon for periodontitis sufferers to lose a tooth or even all teeth at once.
Periodontitis is caused by an infection brought about by the bacteria that are naturally deposited on the dental surface, especially in the area next to the gum, where it forms bacterial plaque. Plaque is a whitish film formed by food residue and bacteria. If not removed it may cause cavities or calcify forming tartar (calculus). Good oral hygiene, a balanced diet and regular visits to the dentist help avoid the development of periodontal disease.
Many people don’t realize they are suffering from periodontal disease. The process is not always apparent and may go unnoticed until a tooth becomes seriously compromised. However, in some cases the problems are very evident, with tooth mobility and continuous bad breath.
Look out for one or more of the symptoms below:
- Teeth that move
- Receding gums
- Bleeding, sensitive or swollen gums
- Presence of pus around a tooth
- Continuous bad breath
- Teeth that shift position
Plaque and tartar deposited between the tooth and the gum cause gum inflammation known as gingivitis, whose first symptom is bleeding of the gums. If gingivitis goes untreated, the bacteria spread inside the gum releasing poisons and calcifying, leading to the eventual destruction of the bone that supports the teeth. Furthermore, it is known that periodontal disease promotes the introduction of bacteria into the system and internal organs, especially the blood and the heart.
Diagnosing is done by the dentist during your routine check-up. The type of Periodontal Treatment will depend on the gravity of the case. In its initial stage, a professional cleaning should be sufficient to control the problem. In more advanced cases, it is necessary to carry out a scraping to remove the accumulation of plaque and tartar deposited on the teeth. In more severe cases surgery may be required, including removal of teeth and prostheses.
Once the periodontal treatment is completed, it is necessary to have a routine follow up program. This means more frequent routine check-up visits to the dentist, possibly at least every three months. Your periodontal health and hygiene will be monitored and a cleaning will be done.