Periodontitis

Periodontitis

Gingivitis (gum disease)

Gingivitis is characterised by the redness and the swelling of the gum. This condition is in response to the presence of an irritant in your body, usually the accumulation of dental plaque (bacteria ) and tartar on the teeth surface. Gingivitis is reversible and will disapear without causing any permanent damage following the removal of dental plaque and tartar by your hygienist. Certain conditions may affect the severity of gingivitis such as hormonal fluctuation during puberty , and pregnancy and certain medication.

Periodontitis

Periodontitis is a gum infection that results in a bone loss and its support around the teeth. As well as for gingivitis, periodontitis is caused by an accumulation of bacteria on the teeth and under the gum . On top of redness, bleeding , periodontitis is characterised by the formation of a space between the gum and teeth called : periodontal pocket. This pocket is the result of a bone loss around the teeth. These regions are difficult to clean and also help the progression of the disease.

Without appropriate treatment, periodontitis may cause the loss of the affected tooth.

Types of periodontitis

Chronic periodontitis

Is the most common of the disease. It is mostly characterised by the severity of the bone loss in 3 different forms: beginning, moderate and severe. Over 40 % of the population is affected by the moderate form of the disease whereas 15% is affected by the severe form. The mobility and movement of a tooth are often a sign of severe periodontitis.

Aggressive periodontitis

Uncommon form of the disease which affects mainly teenagers and young adults. The progression of the bone loss is fast and may involve several teeth.

Treatment

Periodontitis is defined as an infectious disease. The infectious origin requires a daily control of the bacterial. The key to success is found within the active and durable cooperation of the patient. After a diagnosis, a patient at risk is considered at risk all his life. Like any other infections, a treatment exists. By definition we do not heal parodontitis we control it. Periodontitis treatment aims to restore gum and parodonte health. We start with a scaling by removing tartar and dental plaque on the teeth and in the periodontal pocket. These procedures are done with local anesthesia (2-3 appointments). Other technics, such as a laser, may be used during the treatment. In severe cases a surgical treatment could be necessary. Regular appointments with your hygienist every three months is strongly suggested in order to control on a long term basis the periodontal disease.

Risk factors

The risk factors do not cause the disease but accelerates its progression.

Smoking

The usage of tobacco plays an important role in the progression of the periodontal disease. Tobacco jeopardize healing following a treatment by reducing the diameter of the blood vessels, therefore a decrease of the blood flow and antibodies to the infected site.

Genetic /age

Certain individuals have least resistance therefore they will be more susceptible to loose bone. The incidence of the disease increases with age.

Immune system

Diseases affecting the immune system such as diabetes or blood disease makes the body more susceptible to the development of periodontal disease.

Other risk factors

Stress, certain medications, tooth grinding or clenching are other factors that can to a lesser extent play a role in the development and progression of the periodontitis.

Links to health

Periodontitis can also act as a risk factor in the progression of certain diseases where inflammation play a predominant role. Inflammation is a normal response of the body to an infection. However if the inflammation persists for a long period of time, human body tissues could be damaged. When periodontitis is not treated, it creates a long term inflammation (chronic). Cardio vascular diseases and diabetes are particularly affected by these long term effects of inflammation. Chronic inflammation caused by periodontitis increases the risks of complications during pregnancy such as preterm onset labor. Your gums health is very important for your overall health…

Periodontal lexicon

Tooth plaque (dental deposit) : accumulation of bacteria on the tooth surface. Tooth plaque is a soft deposit that can be removed using dental floss and tooth brush.

Tartar : dental calculus made of minerals such as calcium and phosphate on dental plaque. The only person that can remove it are dental hygienist and dentist as it is presented in a solid form on the tooth.

Periodontal pocket : a space that develops between the gum and the tooth while the bone support is being lost around the tooth. The accumulation of bacteria in the periodontal pocket increases the progression of the disease.

Periodontium : Structure supporting teeth, gum, periodontal ligament and the bone.