My family's dental health is important to me. Unfortunately for me, it is not as important to my little ones. Getting my kids to brush and floss on a daily basis is almost like taking on an obstacle course. I talked to my family's dentist about different methods I could try to encourage them to brush and floss on a regular basis. Some of the tricks worked, some did not. After some experimentation and talking to other parents, I was able to come up with a lot of great tips for helping kids care for their teeth. I started this blog to help other parents get creative when it comes to their kids and dental care.
Periodontitis means inflammation around your teeth. In general terms, it is often called gum disease. It does not involve cavities, so it does not require any fillings or root canal. However, it is more detrimental to the health of your teeth in that if it is left alone, you could end up needed dentures. Periodontal disease will cause the tissue and bone holding your teeth in place to decay making your teeth fall out. The severity of the disease, or how far it has progressed will determine how the periodontist treats it. Here is what to expect.
The first stage of gum disease is gingivitis. There is a build-up of plaque on your teeth that has grown under the gums and is causing them to become red and inflamed. Your dentist and dental hygienist can usually take care of this with a thorough cleaning of your teeth, scraping off all the plaque and tartar. It will require the hygienist to scrape under the gumline.
If left alone, the plaque and tartar will continue to grow, getting further under and into the gums and causing inflammation of the connective tissue that helps hold the teeth in place. It will also begin to deteriorate the bone where the roots of your teeth sit. The build-up will leave small gaps around your teeth as the gums are pulled away. A periodontist will scrape down under the gums deeply. This will generally be done in multiple appointments with the work being done on one quadrant of the mouth at each visit to allow you time to heal between trips. While not extremely painful, your mouth will be sore for a few days after each treatment.
When the disease has progressed so that your gums have receded enough that your teeth appear larger than normal and more than the crown is showing, but the teeth are still secure, it is considered to be moderate periodontitis. Your dental specialist will sedate you and cut open the gums to allow them to be pulled away from your teeth. The teeth will then be scraped to remove all the tartar. Once the teeth are cleaned, the gums will be sewn into place so that they are tight around the teeth.
If your teeth are loose and the gums pulled back exposing the top of the root portion, the disease is severe. In addition to opening the gums and cleaning the teeth, a periodontist will graft tissue from the roof of your mouth around the teeth, and a mesh material will be inserted between the gums and the bone so the bone can regenerate and once again hold your teeth in place.
You may be prescribed an antibiotic during any stage of periodontal disease to ensure any infection-causing bacteria is destroyed. You will need to improve the way you take care of your teeth and gums too, or everything the dental professional does will be undone quickly. At the first sign of red, bleeding gums, see a dentist like Kyle J Frisinger DMD. The earlier you receive treatment, the less invasive and painful it will be.