Time and time again, we see patients unaware of their periodontitis (gum) disease and the havoc it can wreak on one's mouth and overall immune system. Other days, we speak with patients who have mistaken a common toothache for gum disease. Over the course of these conversations, one thing is clear: many people simply do not have enough information on gum disease.
For these reasons and more, we have decided to take a few moments to educate you and our many patients and followers on the perils and particularities of periodontitis. As lifelong learners and health advocates ourselves, we are firm believers in the fact that knowledge is power. With the right information, you can make the most informed decisions, saving you time, money, and unnecessary stress.
Throughout this blog post, we will explore periodontitis from top to bottom. We'll cover how to prevent gum disease, early warning signs, the various degrees of the disease, and how periodontitis can be treated. We'll also tell you how such issues are handled in the facilities of the illustrious Dr. Suzanne Caudry.
Should you have any questions about this blog post, do not hesitate to contact us at (416) 928-3444. We are always eager to answer any questions or address any concerns.
Periodontitis: What Is It?
In brief, periodontitis, better known as gum disease, refers to a serious infection of the soft tissues that keep your teeth in place. Without treatment, it can go from damaging that soft tissue to damaging the very bone that keeps your teeth securely in place.
Periodontitis is common, but it is also preventable. Unfortunately, many people fail to recognize the early warning signs. In failing to address gum disease, the situation gradually goes from bad to worse.
As for what causes gum disease, many things can bring about such an infection. Most commonly, the periodontitis begins with an unchecked accumulation or buildup of plaque-a sticky bacterial film. If one were to ignore that bacteria for long, periodontitis would surely advance. Over time, plaque hardens under the gum line and turns into what we call tartar, which is much more difficult to remove than standard plaque. Plaque can also lead to gingivitis, an inflammatory infection that develops around the root of the tooth. If gingival inflammation is left untreated, periodontitis may worsen.
What Are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?
There are many easy-to-detect signs and symptoms of gum disease. If you are able to identify any of these, you might just save yourself a lot of unnecessary time, money, and energy in the future. Some of these symptoms include, but are not limited to:
- Swollen, puffy gums
- Red or purple gums
- Bleeding gums after eating, brushing, or flossing
- Bad breath
- Receding gums
- A change in your bite
- Painful chewing
- Loose teeth
- Pus between teeth or around gums
Periodontitis Risk Factors
While improper dental hygiene practices may certainly harm your teeth in the long run, other factors can increase your chances of periodontitis.
Some risk factors include, but are not limited to:
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Recreational drug use
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Compromised immune systems
As we always try to remind our patients: oral health is inseparable from overall health. The best protection against unwanted infection is a well-balanced lifestyle. That said, we are not here to judge our patients. We are here to meet them wherever they're at and improve their lives to the best of our abilities. Should someone find themselves living with periodontitis, we are the ones to call.
Periodontitis Treatment the Dr. Caudry Way
Whether you've caught your periodontitis early, or it has advanced to the point of other people noticing it from a distance, we can help you. We offer treatments for all stages of gum disease.
Typically, the goal of your early-onset periodontitis treatment will be to clean the pockets of your teeth as best as possible to prevent any further damage or inflammation. Antimicrobial and anti-microbiotic treatments such as these are very effective at halting the progression of your gum disease.
That said, any treatment must be carried out in tandem with proper at-home care. This means flossing, brushing, and rinsing diligently. There is only so much a periodontist can do for you-the real power lies in your hands. Thankfully, we will be sure to teach you everything you need to know. We'll give you a thorough refresher on all the proper hygienic practices, ensuring you steer clear of any avoidable periodontal issues in the future.
Treatment for Advanced Periodontitis
For advanced cases of periodontitis, sometimes surgical treatments are unavoidable. With us at the helm, however, such treatments go as smoothly as possible.
The aim of surgical treatment is to not only clean the infected areas of any plaque and bacteria but also to reduce pocket depths and re-establish soft tissues. After the initial surgical treatment, regular hygienic appointments are necessary to maintain healthy gum tissue. Without these regular appointments, gum disease will progress, leading to more tissue, bone, and tooth loss.
Surgical treatment for one tooth or site typically takes one hour, while multiple sites may require lengthier sessions in the dentist's chair. We place sutures in the surgical sites to ensure all sites heal properly. After two weeks, a patient should be able to resume regular eating habits. However, it may take up to one year for gums to return to an optimal state.
Let Us Handle Your Periodontal Questions and Concerns
Is there more you would like to learn about periodontitis treatment? Are you worried that you or a loved one may be showing early signs of gum disease?
No matter how minor your concerns or how major your worries, do not hesitate to contact Dr. Suzanne Caudry and her dedicated staff. Our phone number is (416) 928-3444, and we cannot wait to hear from you.