How Can I Stabilize My Periodontal Disease?



When it comes to being scary, things that go bump in the night haven't got a thing on periodontal disease. Painless and silent, its early-stage symptoms are easy to miss, and that is what makes it so dangerous. If you fail to catch it in time, it will escalate relentlessly in your mouth, destroying your gums and the bone around your teeth almost before you know you have it.

Despite its sneaky habits early on, periodontal disease will leave one obvious calling card. It comes in the form of red, swollen gums that can sometimes bleed, turning your toothbrush a pale shade of pink that may wash down the drain before you've seen it. At this stage, a dental professional and proper home-grown oral care can get this disorder on the run. Once it's become full-blown, however, it's hard to ignore any longer. At this point, your teeth are in danger, and their loss is a distinct possibility.

How Periodontal Disease Does its Dirty Work

Without treatment, periodontal disease will destroy the tissues that hold your teeth firmly in place in the jawbone. As it does this, pockets will form, allowing additional plaque to build up under the gumline. This exposes the roots of your teeth, making them sensitive to touch and temperature changes. It also puts them at risk for decay.

Things will soon become worse. At the tipping point, the affected teeth will start to loosen. They now face an uncertain fate: If they don't fall out by themselves, your dentist may need to remove them.

The Different Types of Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease can manifest in a number of different ways. These include:

  • Gingivitis. This common early form of the disease is also the mildest.
  • Chronic periodontal disease. Most frequently found in individuals over the age of 45, it features below-the-gumline inflammation that eats away at bone and gingival tissue.
  • Aggressive periodontal disease. Although basically identical to chronic periodontitis, this form progresses faster and results in more-rapid bone loss.
  • Necrotizing periodontal disease. This most serious of all the forms features the actual death of the gingival tissues, periodontal ligaments and alveolar bone.

The Causes of Periodontal Disease

Most cases of periodontitis owe their origins to a combination of two offenders: the sticky plaque that continually builds up on the teeth and the various types of bacteria that call it home. The resulting toxins lead to infection that breaks down gum tissue and encourages bone loss. Such underlying systemic conditions as diabetes, heart disease and respiratory problems can put you at greater risks of developing the disease. Other predisposing influences include:

  • Tobacco use.
  • Malocclusions.
  • A tendency to clench and grind the teeth.
  • Inadequate diet.
  • Pregnancy.
  • The use of oral contraceptives, antidepressants and some heart medications.

Regardless of the underlying cause, however, each type demands proper dental treatment to stop it in its tracks.

Treating Periodontal Disease

With this disease, the specific treatment will differ in accordance with its form and severity. Disparities arise when treating:

  • Gingivitis. The only good thing about gingivitis is the ease with which dental treatment can reverse it. Common treatment procedures include removing debris from the pockets through deep scaling and root planing. The use of antibiotics and mouthwashes can also help to kill bacteria and promote healthy healing of the gums.
  • Chronic periodontal disease. Since it is impossible to rebuild supportive gum tissue, chronic periodontal disease is considered incurable. However, antimicrobial treatments combined with root planing and scaling can slow its progression. In addition, such targeted surgical treatments as tissue grafts and pocket reductions can help strengthen the bone and improve appearances.
  • Aggressive periodontal disease. In addition to the treatments applied in less-virulent cases, this harder-to-treat form of the disease will often demand the use of surgical laser procedures.
  • Necrotizing periodontal disease. Treatment will include pain relief along with surgical gingivectomy and gingivoplasty to remove dead material and correct defects. Splints can sometimes provide a measure of stabilization to your loose teeth before and potentially following your periodontal treatment.

If you're suffering from any form of periodontal disease, you can trust Dr. White to make the correct diagnosis and choose the modern restorative techniques best suited to the type and severity of your condition. The good news is that control is possible, but you can’t do it without professional help. Don’t let periodontitis get out of hand. If you want to save your teeth, call Dr. White today.