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Periodontitis Overview: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

Sep 14, 2022oral surgery, Oral Hygiene

Periodontitis Overview

Periodontitis, also called gum disease, is an infection that damages and destroys the soft tissue that supports your teeth, possibly causing them to loosen. Tooth loss is a typical potential outcome of the disease.

While periodontitis can be relatively common, it’s also usually preventable. Brushing your teeth at least two times each day, flossing daily, and seeing your dentist regularly can all help you to prevent periodontitis. Simply performing these simple preventive measures can help lower your chances of contracting the condition and help you avoid this.

What are periodontitis symptoms?

Healthy gum tissues are generally strong and pink and fit closely around the teeth. Signs and symptoms of periodontal diseases often include:

  • Swollen or puffy gums
  • Bright red, dusky red or purplish gums
  • Tender gums
  • Gums that bleed easily
  • After brushing, a pink-tinged toothbrush appears.
  • When you brush or floss your teeth, you might spit out blood.
  • Bad breath
  • Pus between your teeth and gums
  • Loose teeth or loss of teeth
  • Painful chewing
  • Gaps between your teeth
  • Gums that pull away from your teeth, which makes the teeth long
  • Your mouth’s unique fit may change when biting.

Periodontitis symptoms can vary depending on the severity of the disease. In early stages, symptoms may be barely noticeable. As the disease progresses, symptoms may become more severe. Common symptoms include gingival inflammation, bleeding gums, receding gums, and bad breath. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to see a dentist or periodontist as soon as possible to get a diagnosis and treatment plan.

What causes periodontitis?

Healthy people have millions of different bacterial types inside their mouths. Most of them are entirely safe. If you happen to don’t often clean and brush your teeth properly, the bacterial count will grow and multiply on your teeth.

Periodontitis is primarily caused by a lack of oral care. If you don’t brush your teeth and clean in the hard-to-reach areas of your mouth, the following happens:

  1. Bacteria in your gums multiply and form a turbid, sticky substance known as dental plaque.
  2. If you don’t remove the plaque by brushing, the minerals trapped within the plaque continue to degenerate over time.
  3. Tartar is chiefly a mineral deposit found in the root of a tooth, and it’ll draw even more bacteria there, which will provide a competitive advantage to growing dental plaque.
  4. Inflammation in your gum tissues is your body’s usual response to this bacterial growth.
  5. The gum’s attachment to the roots of a tooth is regularly interrupted over time, forming a periodontal pocket (gap) in the process.
  6. The  anaerobic bacteria causes the release of toxic products that can damage the gums, the teeth, and the surrounding bone structures.

These factors may increase your risk of periodontitis.

  • Smoking is among the biggest risk factors for periodontitis.
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Changes in the levels of hormones in females (such as during menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause), which can make the gums more sensitive.
  • Conditions that affect your immune system and define your health, like HIV or leukemia.
  • A type of medication that reduces the flow of saliva in a person’s mouth.
  • Genetics
  • A vitamin deficiency, such as deficiencies in vitamin C.

Periodontal Disease Treatment

First thing to do if you suffer from periodontitis is to get to see your dentist. For the most part, your dentist will likely begin by carrying out a scaling based on from food particles and tartar, which are generally the cause of periodontal illness.  They may prescribe an anti-inflammatory drug or an antibiotic treatment depending on the severity of your infection.

In most cases, scaling and root planing are sufficient. Your dentist will most likely give you several appointments to check your dental condition and ensure everything is working as expected.

Unfortunately, the non-invasive treatments and periodontitis treatments aren’t sufficient, and you do not get the outcomes you desire. It may be necessary to end up going to a surgical procedure with a referral to a specialist, the Periodontist. The methods are different depending on the place where the lesions are located. There are 3 of them.

  • The sanitation flap technique: In the case of this particular case procedure, the dental surgeon will remove the gum from a tooth to be as close as possible to the bone with regard to who knows the root. It will remove oral bacteria and tartar and polish the tooth’s bone environment and the bone around the tooth. This method will successfully recover the periodontal tissue on the tooth. After the opening procedure, the periodontal pocket will then be eliminated.
  • The guided tissue regeneration technique: The guided tissue regeneration procedure is useful in regenerating the gum tissue selectively. How does this take place? By regenerating the support tissues supporting the teeth. Because of this, the dental practitioner will insert a membrane into the periodontitis. This membrane will form a barrier to prevent the tissues from reforming in this region.
  • The technique of bone filling: The goal of this method is to replace the damaged bone with synthetic materials.

Once your periodontitis therapy is under control, you should visit your dentist or come see a periodontics professional often (3 to 4 times a year).

Medical Conditions Associated with Periodontal Disease


There is a strong two-way relationship between type 1 and 2 diabetes and the gum disease (plaque). People with poorly-controlled blood sugar (glucose) levels are at high risk for developing many kinds of infections, including gum disease. There is also evidence that periodontal disease may have an adverse effect on glycemic control, which can increase the risk for other health risks.

Heart Disease

Periodontal disease and heart disease share similar risk factors (e.g., tobacco use, aging, diabetes), so it is not yet clear if an individual has one of these conditions and also increases the risk of developing the other.

Periodontitis is a serious oral health condition that can cause extensive damage to the gums and teeth if left untreated. While the exact cause of periodontitis is not known, there are several risk factors that have been identified, including smoking, poor oral hygiene, and certain medical conditions. If you think you may be at risk for developing periodontitis, be sure to see your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. If you are diagnosed with periodontitis, there are a number of treatment options available that can help to stop the progression of the disease and prevent further damage to your oral health.

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We invite you to visit our Redlands dental clinic. Our skilled professionals provide high-quality care and services. We are excited to meet you and help with all of your dental needs!

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