Periodontitis is highly painful and invasive gum disease. It initially starts as gingivitis - a mild gum inflammatory condition that is caused due to the tartar adhered to the teeth and tooth roots. If patients fail to get gingivitis treated and halted in the early stages itself, it can advance on to a more severe stage, resulting in periodontitis.
What causes gum diseases?
Gum diseases are primarily caused due to poor oral hygiene. Failing to brush and floss regularly and thoroughly can lead to the formation of tartar deposits on the teeth. These deposits can be seen as dark patches or spots on the teeth, especially near the gum line, and would be teeming with microbes. These microbes discharge acidic substances as and when they feed on the food residues in the mouth, which can erode the enamel and infect the soft gum tissues.
What are the symptoms of periodontitis?
- Bleeding gums
- Discharge of pus and formation of an abscess
- Loosened gum tissues resulting in deeper gum pockets
- Receding gum line
- Decaying of gum tissues
- Jawbone deterioration
- Loosening of the teeth from the socket
How is periodontal therapy carried out?
Periodontal therapy involves many treatment phases that have their significance. They are:
Root planing or deep cleaning: Deep cleaning is the process of removing the tartar deposits from the teeth and the root surfaces. The dentist uses an ultrasonic scaling appliance for this purpose, which will be inserted between the gums and tooth roots. The imperfections on the root surfaces will be smoothened out to prevent microbial deposition. The deep gum pockets will be cleared out to remove the microbes and deposited food residues.
Decayed tissue removal: The decayed or infected gum tissues will be removed through laser therapy. In this procedure, we will use a high-intensity laser to vaporize the tissues, which also seals the wound underneath. This prevents the chances of bleeding and eliminates the need for sutures. Patients would not require a prolonged healing period after laser tissue removal.
Medication: The spread of the infection has to be arrested, for which we use highly potent antibiotic medication. They can be in the form of surface applicants, oral pills, or placed right under the gums (in the gum pockets). They ensure the tissues heal and prevent chances of sustaining reinfection.
Gum graft: A gum graft may not always be required in periodontal therapy. It would only be needed if the patient has undergone severe receding of gum tissues and their volume has dropped alarmingly low. In such instances, we will extract healthy tissues from the palate and graft them surgically to the receded area. A suitable healing period will be recommended to allow the tissues to fuse to the existing ones.
To have a consultation with Dr. Puffer, please call our office at (936) 564-2439 or schedule an online consultation, and we’ll guide you further.