Periodontitis – What is it?
Periodontitis Diagnosis & Treatments
We review your medical history to identify any factors that could be contributing to your symptoms, such as smoking or taking certain medications that cause dry mouth. We examine your mouth to look for plaque and tartar buildup and check for easy bleeding. We measure the pocket depth of the groove between your gums and teeth by placing a dental probe beside your tooth beneath your gum line, usually at several sites throughout your mouth.
In a healthy mouth, the pocket depth is usually between 1 and 3 millimeters. Pockets deeper than 4 mm may indicate periodontitis. Pockets deeper than 6 mm cannot be cleaned well. We take dental X-rays to check for bone loss in areas where your dentist observes deeper pocket depths.
Gingivitis is the initial stage of periodontal (gum) disease. If plaque and calculus (tartar) are not regularly removed from the teeth, the gums become red and swollen, thus causing bleeding. When left untreated, gingivitis will progress into periodontal disease that results in bone and gum loss around the teeth. This condition can lead to premature tooth loss.
Periodontal disease can be difficult to detect early on because it is usually painless. Some of the symptoms and signs of developing periodontal disease include:
- Bleeding and/or receding gums
- Loose teeth
- Increased space between teeth
- Constant bad breath
- Pus near the gums and teeth
- Inflamed and red gums
- Discomfort or tenderness
We strive to prevent periodontal disease. To avoid progression of periodontal disease, it is important to practice good oral hygiene at home, always eat a balanced diet, and regularly attend your scheduled dental appointments at Sandor Family Dentistry. If you have any pain or discomfort near your teeth or gums, please contact our office immediately.
A periodontist, a dentist or a dental hygienist may perform treatment. The goal of the treatment for parodontitis is to clean the pockets around the teeth thoroughly and to prevent damage to the bone around them. If you also adopt a daily routine of good oral care and stop using tobacco, you have the best chance of successful treatment.
If periodontitis is not advanced, less invasive procedures may be involved in treatment, including
- Scaling removes tartar and bacteria from the surfaces of your tooth and under your gums. It can be done with instruments, a laser or an ultrasonic device.
- Root planning
- Root planning smooths the root surfaces, prevents further tartar and bacteria build-up, and removes bacterial byproducts that contribute to inflammation and delay gum healing or reattachment to the surfaces of the tooth.
- Bacterial infection may be controlled by topical or oral antibiotics. Topical antibiotics may include antibiotic rinses of the mouth or insertion of antibiotic gels in the space between your teeth and gums or after deep cleaning into pockets. Oral antibiotics may, however, be necessary to eliminate infectious bacteria completely.
If you have advanced periodontitis, dental surgery may be needed. There are well proven surgery options for advanced periodontitis.
- Flap surgery
- Your periodontist will make tiny incisions in your gum so that a section of gum tissue can be lifted back and the roots can be exposed for more effective scaling and root planing. Because periodontitis often leads to loss of bone, the underlying bone can be re-contoured before the gum tissue is sutured back in place. Cleaning these areas and maintaining healthy gum tissue is easier after you heal.
- Soft tissue grafts
- Your gum line falls back when you lose gum tissue. Some of the damaged soft tissue may need to be strengthened. Usually this is done by removing a small amount of tissue from your mouth’s roof or other source of donor and attaching it to the affected site. This can help to reduce further recession of the gum, cover exposed roots, and make your teeth look more pleasant.
- Bone grafting
- This procedure is performed when the bone around your tooth root has been destroyed by periodontitis. The graft may consist of your own bone’s small fragments, or the bone may be synthetic or donated. By holding your tooth in place, the bone graft helps prevent tooth loss. It also serves as a platform for natural bone regeneration.
- Guided tissue regeneration
- This allows bone to return to growth that has been destroyed by bacteria. Your dentist places a special piece of bio-compatible fabric between your existing bone and your tooth in one approach. The material prevents the introduction of unwanted tissue into the healing area, instead allowing bone to grow back.
- Tissue-stimulating proteins
- The application of a special gel to a diseased tooth root is another technique. This gel contains the same proteins found in tooth enamel development and stimulates healthy bone and tissue growth.
Brush your teeth after every meal or snack twice a day. Use a soft toothbrush and replace it at least every 3 to 4 months. Consider using an electric toothbrush that can remove plaque and tartar more effectively. Floss every day. If recommended by your dentist, use a mouth rinse to help reduce plaque between your teeth. Brushing and flossing supplemented with an inter-dental cleaner such as a dental pick, inter-dental brush or dental stick designed specifically for cleaning between your teeth. Get regular professional dental cleaning, according to the delivered recommended schedule and do not smoke or chew tobacco.
Observations and discussions we will have with you.
We are genuinely interested in your symptoms. A few questions we may ask you to determine the cause and solutions may include…
When did you begin to experience symptoms first? Was it continuous or occasional for your symptoms? How often are your teeth brushed? Are you flossing? How often does this happen? How frequently do you see a dentist? What are your medical conditions? Which medicines are you taking? Do you use tobacco products?
If you suffer from bleeding, sore, swollen, or simply want to have your gums evaluated in Freehold, New Jersey, please contact us today to schedule your next appointment with one of our caring dentists.