Periodontitis is an advanced form of periodontal disease. With periodontitis, the gum tissue recedes away from the teeth, creating pockets where the surplus bacteria can build up and cause an infection. The treatment for advanced periodontal disease involves multiple steps. For a progressive periodontal disease, as a first-line treatment, a periodontist will sometimes recommend medications before resorting to surgery, depending on the severity of your gum disease.
What are some common symptoms of periodontitis?
The early indicators of periodontitis include receding gums and pockets between the gums and the teeth. Once the infection reaches under your gum line, periodontitis can destroy tissues, ligaments, and bones in the mouth that can eventually lead to a loss of a tooth. The common symptoms of periodontitis include:
- A person suffering from periodontal disease will experience pain when chewing and biting.
- The alignment of the teeth will become poor.
- The gums will start to recede.
- There will be the formation of pockets between the teeth and gums.
- One can suffer from persistent bad breath.
- There will be soreness and bleeding in the gums.
- The teeth will loosen or become sensitive to hot and cold temperatures.
What are the various types of Periodontal Treatment?
Tooth Scaling and Root Planing: This is a two-step procedure to treat periodontitis, in which the dentist will scrape off the tartar that has accumulated on teeth both above and below the gum line. Next, the rough spots on the tooth roots will be smoothened, making it more difficult for bacteria to amass, thereby preventing the buildup of more plaque and tartar.
- Flap Surgery: The dentist may recommend flap surgery if the gum inflammation and pockets next to the teeth persist even after a deep tooth-cleaning procedure. During flap surgery, the tartar is eliminated from the pockets that have formed alongside the teeth. The pockets are then closed with sutures, so the gum tissue once again fits in tightly over the teeth. It becomes more accessible and comfortable to brush and floss your teeth after the removal of the pockets.
- Tissue Grafts: In severe cases of periodontitis in which bone and tissue have been damaged, a patient may need bone or tissue grafts to replace the infected tissue. The graft may involve a technique called guided tissue regeneration, in which a small piece of net is placed between the jaw bone and gums to allow for the regrowth of the bone and tissue. The planned tissue regeneration helps keep the gum tissue from protruding so that both the bone and tissue grafts have space to grow.
- Doxycycline Gel: This gel that contains doxycycline, an antibiotic, aids periodontal disease treatment by killing bacteria and shrinking the pockets that form along the gum line. The gel is applied to the pockets after a tooth scaling/root planing procedure, and the antibiotic is released gradually for about a week.
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