Generally called Gum Disease, Periodontitis is also known as Periodontal Disease. It begins with bacterial growth in mouth & if not treated properly may end with tooth loss due to destruction of tissue surrounding teeth.
Gingivitis is generally a gum inflammation that precedes periodontitis, which is a gum disease. However, it would be important to understand that not all gingivitis eventually progresses to periodontitis. Bacteria in plaque buildup usually cause gums to become inflamed & easily bleed during brushing of teeth in early stages of gingivitis. Even though gums are irritated at this stage, teeth are still firmly planted within their sockets. No irreversible tissue damage or bone loss has occurred at this point of time. Gingivitis however can effectively advance to periodontitis if it is left untreated. Inner layer of gum & bone pull away from teeth & form pockets in people with periodontitis. Spaces between gums & teeth collect debris in this condition & become infected. In the meanwhile, body’s immune system takes up the fight with bacteria as plaque spreads & steadily grows beneath the gum line. The fight between the toxins or poisons produced by bacteria in plaque & good enzymes of the body involved in combating infections begin to bread-down bone & connective tissue which hold teeth in place. With progression of gum disease, these pockets deepen & more bone & gum tissue are destroyed. Teeth are therefore no longer anchored in place when this happens. They eventually become loose & result in tooth loss. It is an established fact that gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults.
Primary cause of gum disease is build-up of plaque. Other factors which contribute to periodontal disease include some of the following.
Gum disease typically progresses painlessly while producing few obvious signs which are experienced in the late stages of this disease. Even though symptoms of periodontal disease are quite subtle in nature, this condition is not entirely devoid of any warning signs. There are certain symptoms which point to some form of disease. Common symptoms of gum disease include the following.
Even when gum disease patients do not notice any symptoms, they may still be having some degree of gum disease. In some cases gum disease may only affect certain teeth, like the molars. Only a periodontist or dentist can effectively recognize & determine progression of gum disease.
Dentists will typically check for the following during dental examination.
Treatment of gum disease should include promoting reattachment of healthy gums to teeth along with reducing depth of pockets & swelling, eliminating risk of infection & to stop progression of gum disease. However, treatment options will depend upon the spread of disease & how each case has responded to earlier treatments including overall health of the patient. Options can range from nonsurgical therapies which are designed to control bacterial growth to surgery which is meant to restore supportive tissues.
Gum disease treatments which do not involve surgery include the following.
Some good examples of surgical gum disease treatment are listed below.
However, in some patients the nonsurgical procedure of scaling & planing is all that is required in treating gum disease. Surgery is required only when tissue around teeth is unhealthy & is not possible to be repaired with nonsurgical treatment options.
Antibiotic treatments are most often used alone or in combination with surgery & other therapies in order to reduce or temporarily eliminate bacteria associated with gum disease. It is also used to suppress destruction of tooth’s attachment to bone. Common drugs used to control plaque & gingivitis in mouth or in periodontal pockets include Chlorhexidine marketed as prescription only brands like PerioGard, PerioChip, Peridex & numerous other over-the-counter names are antimicrobial in nature. These medications are available as mouth rinse or as gelatin-filled chips which are to be placed in pockets after root planing. These slowly release medication over a period of seven days. Other antibiotics which are used in treating gum disease include minocycline, tetracycline & doxycycline as determined by the dentist. Additionally, a nonprescription based toothpaste which contains fluoride & an antibiotic called triclosan which is meant to reduce plaque & gingivitis is also often recommended for treating severe gum disease.
Gum disease can be effectively reversed in nearly all cases where proper control of plaque is practiced. Proper control of plaque consists of professional cleanings performed at least twice a year along with daily brushing & flossing at home. While brushing eliminates plaque from surface of teeth that can be reached, flossing will remove plaque & food particles in-between teeth & under gum line. Antibacterial rinsing of mouth will also reduce bacteria which cause plaque & gum disease. Other healthy lifestyle changes will also help decrease risk, severity & speedy development of gum disease. Some such lifestyle changes are mentioned below.
Some people may be genetically susceptible to gum disease despite maintaining good oral hygiene practices & making healthy lifestyle choices. People who are genetically predisposed may be six times more likely to develop some type of gum disease. Therefore, if anyone in the patient’s family having gum disease will mean that he or she is at greater risk as well. Dentists or periodentists may in such cases recommend more frequent check-ups, professional cleanings & treatments so as to better manage conditions among people who are more susceptible to gum disease.
Researchers have unveiled potential links between gum disease & quite a few other serious health conditions. Bacteria in mouth making its way into the bloodstream, is usually harmless among people with healthy immune systems. However, under certain circumstances, these very same microorganisms are associated with health problems like heart disease & stroke. Moreover, diabetes is not just a risk factor for gum disease, but gum disease can also make diabetes get worse.
Periodontitis is an advanced version of gum disease. Chronic periodontitits affects a large section of adult population & can lead to loss of tissue & bone which support teeth & may become more severe with passage of time. Consequently, teeth will become loose & fall out. Although this condition slowly gets worse, there can also be in some cases periods of rapid progression. With costs of healthcare including dental procedures touching the sky in developed countries, medical solutions in India are still affordable & ideal for people willing to travel across the world. Hospitals & dental clinics in India are equipped with the latest technologies alongside maintaining international standards. IndianMedTrip is one of the fastest growing healthcare tourism companies in South Asia & is associated with top surgeons, dentists & best hospitals in the country. Offering a variety of low cost medical solutions including dental treatments for severe gingivitis & periodontal gum disease, healthcare professionals at IndianMedTrip would be delighted to combine an exotic recuperative vacation at reasonable costs so as to make your health travel a memorable experience.