According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 64.7 million Americans suffer from periodontal disease. Periodontal or gum disease is a common oral infection that not only damages the soft tissues of the mouth, but also endangers your teeth and bone structure. At Sabeti Cosmetic Dentistry, we can help devise a treatment plan to get rid of periodontal disease.
Causes of Periodontitis
When we eat food, especially sugar, dental plaque, a biofilm, forms on the surface of our teeth. This plaque is formed by bacteria in our mouth. Brushing your teeth can get rid of plaque but it will build up again after a few hours.
If you are neglectful towards your oral hygiene, this plaque will harden into tartar or calculus. Calculus cannot be removed at home, which is why we recommend six-monthly dental cleanings at Sabeti Cosmetic Dentistry.
However, if the plaque is left untreated, it can cause damage to your oral tissues. Initially, you will experience irritation to your gums; however, the infection will soon spread and develop deep pockets between your teeth and gums. These pockets become filled with bacteria, which release toxins to destroy the supporting structure of the tooth.
As a result, your gums will shrink back and your tooth can become loose and even fall out.
Stages of Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease can progress from a less harmless state to advanced chronic disease that becomes very difficult to combat.
Gingivitis is the initial stage of periodontal disease. This occurs when bacterial plaque on the teeth causes your gums to become inflamed and tender. If you experience bleeding during brushing or your gums become swollen, get yourself treated quickly. At this stage, there is no irreversible damage to the gums or hard tissues.
If gingivitis is only seen as a minor inconvenience and not quickly treated, it will progress to the much more harmful periodontitis. Periodontitis is characterized by your gums retreating away from your teeth, creating deep pockets. Debris and bacteria collect in these pockets and spread infections.
As your immune system starts to fight the bacteria, the infection spreads to the tooth root and surrounding bone structure. You will experience bad breath, increased tooth sensitivity and even loosening of some of your teeth. When the disease becomes advanced, tooth and bone structure is severely damaged and the damage is irreversible. At this stage, your teeth will start to fall off.
Treatment of Periodontal Disease
At Sabeti Cosmetic Dentistry, there are three phases of treatment that Dr. Shohreh Sabeti will take you through.
The Etiological Phase
This is the first phase of treatment and focuses on controlling the spread of infection and restoring the balance of healthy microorganisms in your mouth.
During the etiological phase, we may perform “scaling and root planing” in your mouth. This involves scraping off the hardened calculus from your teeth and below your gum line and smoothing the tooth roots to prevent re-infection. Antibiotic medication may also be prescribed.
We will also educate you on how to properly brush and floss your teeth and take care of your oral hygiene. We will also advise you to change some of your lifestyle habits like eating too much sugar, smoking or consuming alcohol.
The Surgical Phase
If the above treatment is not effective, we may have to do small surgeries in your mouth. These may be required if your gum pockets are more than 6 millimeters deep, which means the bacteria has gone too deep for us to clean easily.
Surgical options may include flap surgery, which will involve opening your gums like a flap to clean the plaque beneath the gum line. Once the infection is removed, your gums will be sewed back into place.
If periodontitis causes too much bone damage, we will need to regenerate the lost bones through grafting techniques, as well.
These surgeries are minimally invasive and most people can go about their regular routine within a day.
The Periodontal Maintenance Phase
Periodontal maintenance is performed on individuals who have a history of periodontitis. It is done to prevent the reoccurrence of the disease. This will require you to visit us every two to four months rather than the typical six months. With careful treatment, we can stop the disease from remerging.
Periodontitis is a chronic disease that does not just affect your oral health but your overall health as well. People with periodontitis have an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes so it is important you nip it in the bud.
To schedule a periodontal care appointment with us, call us at (310) 707-1577 today.