Periodontitis: What You Need to Know

Good oral health is essential to your overall well being. With healthy teeth and gums, your digestive system will function efficiently, allowing your body to absorb all the nutrients it needs to grow properly. Sadly, not everyone has perfect oral health. Statistics show that around 22 per cent of people living in Australia are suffering from periodontitis.

What is periodontitis?

There are hundreds of species of bacteria living inside your mouth, each of which is capable of causing serious damage to your teeth and gums. These bacteria either exist naturally in your body or grow from the foodstuff you fail to remove after every meal. While certain enzymes in the saliva can slow down their growth, it’s not enough to eradicate them completely.

As bacteria rapidly multiply, they become harder to deal with. If neglected, they can form what is known as tartar or plaque, a hard calcified deposit that contributes to tooth decay. Plaque is usually found in areas of the teeth that are difficult to access such as the surfaces between teeth and close to the gum line.

When bacteria reaches the gum, it begins secreting substances that when mixed with sugar from food form lactic acid, which gradually corrodes the teeth. The gums will begin to swell during the early stage of infection and pull away slowly. If not treated right away, this condition may develop from simple gingivitis to a more serious condition called periodontitis.

How to Deal with Periodontitis

 It’s easy to tell if you are suffering from periodontitis. Symptoms of this disease include swelling and redness of the gums, new spaces developing between your teeth, painful chewing, and bad breath. When you notice any of these signs, don’t hesitate to go to the dentist. There are reliable providers of dental services in Brisbane and on the Sunshine Coast, such as Foundational Dental Services, that you can turn to.

Periodontitis is treated based on its severity. It may be performed by a periodontist, a general dentist, or a hygienist. Minor cases of periodontitis may require non-surgical treatments, including scaling, root planing, and antibiotic intake. If the infection has already spread across a considerable area of the gum, surgery may be necessary. Incisions may be involved to allow for more effective scaling or soft tissue grafting may be needed to reinforce the damaged sections of the gum.

Despite the treatments, it is always better to maintain proper oral care to avoid periodontitis. Regular brushing and flossing must be on top of your to-do list. You also have to make a point to visit the dentist at least four times a year. More than anyone, the dentist knows the state of your teeth and can determine your risk for such a condition.