Periodontal Disease Diagnosis & Treatment
Periodontal disease is a severe gum infection caused by bacteria that accumulate on the teeth and gums. The progress of the periodontal disease to periodontitis causes damage to your bones and teeth. However, if you receive periodontal disease treatment early and maintain it with proper dental hygiene, you can stop the damage.
The Different Stages of Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease starts as an inflammation of the gums and worsens with time.
- Gingivitis: periodontal disease starts with inflammation of the gums called gingivitis. Your gums start bleeding when brushing and flossing your teeth is the first sign of gingivitis. Discolouration of your teeth might also become noticeable by a buildup of dental plaque with bacteria and food debris. You develop gingivitis when you don’t brush and floss your teeth or get dental cleanings from dentists every six months.
- Early Periodontal Disease: the early stages of periodontal disease cause gum recession when your gums pull away from the teeth to form pockets between the gums and teeth. These pockets harbour harmful bacteria, and gum tissue starts receding as your immune system tries to battle the infection. As a result, you will experience bleeding when brushing and flossing, besides bone loss.
- Moderate Periodontal Disease: if left to progress without periodontal treatment in Toronto, ON, early periodontal disease progresses to the moderate stage when you experience pain and bleeding around your teeth besides gum recession. Your teeth begin losing bone support to become loose, and the infection also results in inflammatory responses from your body.
- Advanced Periodontal Disease: if left untreated moderate periodontal disease progresses to advanced, where the connective tissue holding and supporting your teeth is destroyed. You will also experience severe pain when chewing, bad breath, and an awful mouth taste and likely lose your teeth.
Diagnosing Periodontal Disease
Your st clair west dentist can detect signs of periodontal disease early during routine dental exams and monitor your periodontal status to ensure it doesn’t worsen. Visiting your dentist frequently becomes essential for cleanings and screening if you have periodontal disease.
Your dentist uses tiny rulers called probes to measure the pockets between your teeth and gums. The test is painless and shouldn’t cause any concern. However, if the dentist finds plaque and tartar, they will remove these substances during routine cleaning. You might also have x-rays taken or receive a referral to a periodontist, a specialist who provides gum disease treatment as needed.
Treatment for Periodontal Disease
The treatment for periodontal disease aims to remove plaque and bacteria deposits on your teeth and gums and proceeds in stages. They are:
- Dental Hygiene Practices: the dental care team treating you will provide instructions on reducing harmful bacteria in your mouth, which entails keeping your teeth and gums clean. The dentist will advise using toothbrushes and floss appropriately and might recommend other dental hygiene products like a mouthwash or water pick. Some tips dentists offer to keep your teeth healthy include brushing teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, flossing at least once, and getting six monthly dental cleanings without exception, besides quitting smoking or chewing tobacco.
- Professional Cleanings: during professional cleanings, the dentist removes plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth and their roots before polishing them and providing fluoride treatment. Periodontal pockets need a deep cleaning to enable recovery. In addition, a deep cleaning involving scaling and root planing helps scrape the tartar and rough spots on the tooth where bacteria accumulate.
- Antibiotics: occasionally, your dentist prescribes antibiotics for help with persistent gum infections not responding to cleanings. The antibiotic might be a mouthwash, gel or capsule for oral ingestion.
- Surgery: if you have persistent inflammation in areas inaccessible to brushing and flossing, your dentist might recommend surgical procedures like flap surgery to clean accumulated deposits under your gums. The process is performed under local anaesthesia to lift your gums and clean your tooth roots before stitching your gums back into place. Unfortunately, if bone loss has also affected you, the dentist might recommend bone grafting with flap surgery to regenerate lost bone.
Periodontal disease is preventable if detected and treated early, and any treatment is generally successful. If you develop advanced periodontitis, frequent st clair dentist visits are essential to ensure the disease doesn’t progress further. The long-term outlook of periodontal disease depends on your dental hygiene efforts and your dentist’s regular assessment.
Arlington Dental can help detect and help prevent gingivitis from progressing to periodontitis if you are affected by this severe infection. If you notice bleeding from your teeth and gums when brushing and flossing, consult with the practice to control the condition immediately instead of allowing it to progress to an advanced stage.