Periodontal Disease: A Progressive Dental Problem 

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Your gums are important supporting structures of the tooth that surround and anchor them. They form a major component of the periodontium and maintain the integrity of your teeth and the oral cavity. Any infection or inflammation can lead to gum or periodontal disease that requires immediate attention. 

The dentist in Houston and their team help patients understand periodontal disease, and identify the warning signs that enable them to seek timely dental care. 

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is a common dental problem that involves the infection and inflammation of the gums and the bones that support your teeth. Almost a fourth of all adults globally have some form of periodontal or gum disease. It is one of the leading causes of tooth loss. Poor hygiene typically gives way to increased bacterial accumulation and plaque adherence leading to periodontal disease. 

What causes periodontal disease? 

Poor oral hygiene leads to increased bacterial colonization which forms an ideal environment for plaque adherence (a thin sticky coat formed on the tooth surface), which over some time hardens to form calculus. 

The possible risk factors for periodontal disease include:

  • Genetic predisposition
  • Diabetes 
  • Unhealthy lifestyle habits like smoking, excess alcoholism, and other forms of tobacco use 
  • Stress
  • Hormonal changes during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause 
  • Autoimmune disorders like lupus
  • Certain medications like antibiotics, and tetracyclines

What are the symptoms of periodontal disease?

Periodontal signs and symptoms may include:

  • Red, swollen, and engorged gums
  • Discoloration of your gums (reddish, purplish, or greenish)
  • Bleeding gums 
  • Gum recession 
  • The tooth appears longer than normal due to exposure to the tooth roots
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Metallic taste
  • Malocclusion or misalignment
  • Loose teeth 

How is periodontal disease treated?

Several treatment options are available based on the severity and stage of the disease.

Mild to moderate cases

  • Professional cleaning
    • Supragingival cleaning 
    • Subgingival scaling 
    • Root planing
  • Medications 
    • Antibiotic gels and mouth rinse
  • Pocket irrigation 

Moderate to severe cases 

  • Pocket elimination surgery

Exciting, and reattaching the lost gingival tissue to its original position 

  • Tissue regeneration

To rehabilitate and revitalize damaged tissue structure through PRP (platelet-rich plasma) therapy

  • Gum grafting

Gingival tissue grafts are extracted from other areas of the oral cavity to replace the lost gum tissues

  • Bone grafting

Bone grafts are used to restore the jawbone thickness and volume 

  • Dental implants 

Permanent posts that provide a strong anchorage to restorations like crowns, and bridges to replace missing teeth lost due to periodontal disease

Identifying early warning signs of periodontal disease is crucial to seek timely dental care. This helps curb the disease progression to prevent further oral deterioration.

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