Periodontitis

la parodontite

If you are here, it means that you think you have periodontitis but you are not really sure. If you have the following symptoms: tenderness, swelling, bleeding and bright red gums and bad breath. You have periodontitis. However, you need to know how to properly manage this oral problem.

Here's everything you need to do when you have periodontitis.  

What is periodontitis ?

Periodontitis or loosening of the teeth is an inflammatory disease of bacterial origin which leads to the destruction of the supporting tissues of the tooth. It is the prolongation of an untreated gingivitis: gingivitis is an inflammation of the gum, and in the case of periodontitis this inflammation spreads to the deeper tissues, notably the bone. Indeed, the gum is a thin mucous membrane that covers the jawbone, called alveolar bone. Alveolysis, or bone damage, is the main and irreversible characteristic of periodontitis. If it is not treated, it can lead to the mobility of the teeth, to their migration and in the most serious case to the loss of the teeth.

What are the causes of periodontitis ?

  • The bacterial plaque: The bacterial plaque is the principal cause of the periodontitis. In fact, certain types of bacteria are more likely to develop periodontitis.
  • The presence of tartar on your teeth: Tartar is calcified bacterial plaque that forms above and below the gum line. It should be removed by a professional.
  • Type 2 diabetes: Diabetics with unbalanced blood sugar levels have an increased risk of periodontitis. People with periodontitis also have an increased risk of diabetes.
  • Smoking or not: Smoking reduces the resistance of the gums to harmful bacteria. Smokers have more gum problems and lose more teeth than non-smokers.  

How to treat periodontitis ?

Cleaning the teeth

A complete cleaning allows to avoid the progression of periodontitis. It is the first essential step of a periodontal treatment. It allows to eliminate the bacteria and the tartar fixed on the teeth and their roots, the dentist will allow the gum which was detached to adhere again to the teeth and to limit the bacterial progression. It is necessary to promote the healing of the periodontal pockets that constitute reservoirs of bacteria.

Surgical treatment


Root planing is not a sufficient technique to reduce periodontal pockets. In fact, it is important to use a combination of surgical techniques. To do this, the dental surgeon makes an incision in the gum to clean the periodontal pockets and remove the tartar that is otherwise inaccessible. The gum is then replaced and heals by adhering to the cleaned teeth and bones.

Antibiotic treatment


In the majority of cases of periodontitis, "mechanical" treatments can stop the disease. However, in the case of certain aggressive periodontitis, a complementary antibiotic treatment is necessary. It will be used in case of recurrence or in certain fragile people who have heart problems or a poorly controlled type 2 diabetes.

Follow-up with the dentist

The follow-up visit to the dentist is essential to preserve your oral health. It is a routine examination that must be done regularly to prevent pathologies of the teeth and gums. The interval between two visits to the dentist is usually 12 months.

How to prevent periodontitis so that you don't get it again

Here are the various techniques which make it possible to prevent periodontitis:

  • Effective tooth brushing: teeth should be brushed twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. The dentist can explain the act of brushing, which must not aggravate the lesions of the gums, but must still allow for the cleaning of the gingivodental sulcus, i.e. the junction between the gums and the teeth.
  • Flossing or interdental brushes: this should be done once a day to eliminate plaque bacteria and waste between the teeth.
  • An annual dental exam: this is an exam during which the dentist examines the health of the gums and, if necessary, the space between the gums and the teeth to ensure that no pockets are forming.
  • X-rays of the teeth: usually done every 2 or 3 years to detect abnormal bone loss.
    Brushing your teeth with the Y-Brush removes 15% more plaque than a traditional toothbrush.  

Brushing your teeth with the Y-Brush removes 15% more plaque than a traditional toothbrush.    

The two other periodontal diseases that exist

In order to understand the interest of prevention in the context of periodontal diseases, it is important to make the difference between gingivitis and periodontitis, knowing that the first one often announces the second one but also knowing that there are root denudations.

Gingivitis


Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums, mainly due to the deposit of dental plaque or to a bad oral hygiene. Certain symptoms symbolize the beginning of an infection.

Here are the main symptoms of gingivitis:

  • Redness of the teeth and gums
  • Abundant bleeding
  • Swelling of the teeth and gums
  • Pain in the gums

Root denudations

They are most often caused by traumatic brushing with a toothbrush that is too hard. To rebuild the lost gum tissue, we sometimes use a surgical technique called gum grafting.

Here are the main symptoms of root denudation:

  • Root sensitivities
  • Sensitivity to brushing
  • Unattractive appearance of the teeth
  • The feeling that you are going to lose your teeth

We hope this guide has helped you understand what periodontitis is. We hope that you have also understood that 3 of the main causes of periodontitis are things that you can do something about in your daily life. Only your dentist will be able to explain to you the most appropriate treatment if you have periodontitis. He or she will give you the most appropriate follow-up. Moreover, knowing the two other periodontal diseases that exist will allow you to easily recognize them.

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