Periodontitis starts as a mild gum infection caused by the accumulation of bacteria on the teeth. When the buildup of bacteria continues for too long, it gradually turns into a dark, sticky substance called tartar. Tartar is said to be the cause of most dental infections and diseases. The bacteria from tartar infect the gums, causing swelling, redness, and mild irritation. This is called gingivitis. If gingivitis is left untreated for too long, it turns into a worse condition called periodontitis.
How can periodontitis be treated?
Dental cleaning:Cleaning can be classified into two distinct types: scaling and root planing. Scaling is the process of removing the tartar from the surface of the teeth. Root planing is the same as scaling, except that it is done to clean the tooth roots. These methods get rid of the accumulated bacteria, thereby preventing further infection.
Pocket reduction surgery: Sometimes, bacteria tend to accumulate in the gum pockets present between the gums and the teeth. The surgery eliminates deep pockets, thereby preventing infection.
Gum surgery: The gums which have receded due to the infection can be restored with gum surgery. The dentist uses a high-intensity laser to remove the infected tissues. This method is pain-free and doesn’t cause bleeding. After this, the dentist extracts tissues from a healthy part of the mouth and grafts it to the receded/infected area.
Maintaining oral health: Brushing twice a day eliminates most of the disease-causing bacteria from the mouth and prevents the formation of plaque.
Medication: Medication for gum diseases can either be in the form of oral pills or medication to be placed on the gums, such as Arestin.