Some patients either don’t brush their teeth regularly or don’t do it properly, making them more likely to suffer from periodontal disease, or in other words, problems with the tissues that surround the teeth and hold them in place. This could lead to a height loss of gum or bone. The tendency to suffer the disease also runs in some families. Tobacco similarly plays an important part in this periodontal deterioration.
According to the Spanish Society of Periodontology (SEPA):
“Advanced periodontitis is the main cause of tooth loss in the adult population.”
Periodontitis or pyorrhoea is the advanced stage of gingivitis or swollen gums, and not taking proper care of this disease and its progress can lead to very serious consequences for your dental health.
What causes periodontitis?
Periodontitis is a serious gum infection that harms the soft tissues and causes deterioration of the bone holding your teeth in place.
The earliest signs of the disease are slight swelling and reddening of the gums in the areas of bacterial plaque accumulation, known as tartar. As the disease progresses, it creates periodontal pockets , the name given to the space generated between the tooth and the gum.
Leaving periodontitis untreated represents the following risks for the patient:
● Bleeding gums
● Pain and swelling
● Bad breath
● Loose teeth
● Loss of bone from the affected jaw
● Tooth loss
How is periodontitis treated?
To eliminate periodontitis all tissues must be disinfected. There are various ways to do this depending on the stage of the disease.
Curettage or scraping and planing
Here accumulated tartar in the periodontal pockets is exhaustively removed. Minor or moderate cases of periodontal infection can simply be cured by professional cleaning.
This cleaning removes all of the bacterial plaque to have accumulated under your gums. However, to guarantee that the treatment is effective, it is important to follow your dentist’s instructions.
The most important factor after periodontal curettage is to take very good care of your oral-dental hygiene so that the swelling will disappear and no further infection will develop.
We therefore recommend that you use interdental brushes or floss combined with specific toothpaste for gum problems, with or without chlorhexidine. This will help the treatment to prevent infection. In the case of very advanced infections, antibiotics may be prescribed to guarantee complete elimination of the infection.
After monitoring, every three or six months, your dentist will study the affected area to assess your condition and ensure that everything is going to plan.
Surgical treatment for periodontitis
When the treatment has spread to the extent that curettage no longer serves its purpose, a periodontal surgical treatment will be required. This procedure involves detaching or lifting the gum in the affected areas, enabling us to take a closer look at them.
Once the gum has been detached, we clean and scrape the roots, benefitting from a clearer view of the whole area; this means that the subgingival tartar can be removed. Sometimes bone or gum grafts may be required when the destruction caused by the periodontitis is very serious.
This surgery prevents further bone loss from the area around your teeth due to periodontitis, meaning that your oral-dental health will return to normal, provided that you strictly observed the required brushing technique and frequency. Not observing these instructions means that the disease may reappear.
If you have doubts about treating periodontitis, consult us at our dental clinic in Donostia-San Sebastian.