Encyclopedia

Periodontitis

Periodontitis is a serious infection of the gums that can involve and damage the soft tissues and bone to which the teeth are attached.

The disease can lead to tooth loss or worse, there is an increased risk of heart attack or stroke and other serious health problems.

The clinical condition is common but largely preventable. It is usually due to poor oral hygiene.

Brushing your teeth with a suitable toothpaste at least twice a day, flossing daily, and regular dental checkups greatly reduce the risk of developing a serious gum infection.

What are the symptoms?

• Gum swelling and/or bright or purple discoloration;

• When touched, they feel too hard, as if you feel a bone right next to their outer surface;

• Gum recession occurs, which causes the necks of the teeth to be exposed and they appear longer than usual;

• New spaces are formed between the teeth;

• Pus begins to collect between the teeth and gums;

• Bad breath;

• Bad taste in the mouth;

• Loss of teeth;

• Bite change;

There are several classes or types of periodontitis. The chronic form is the most common and affects mainly mature people, although sometimes children suffer from it.

The aggressive form usually begins in childhood or adolescence and affects only a small number of people.

When should you see a dentist?

Healthy gums have little hardness and are pale pink in color.

If your gums are swollen, dark red, bleed easily, or exhibit other signs of periodontitis, visit your personal dentist as soon as possible.

The sooner you seek professional help, the better your chances are of preventing complications from developing.

What are the causes?

The disease is thought to begin with the build-up of plaque – a sticky coating consisting mostly of bacteria.

Plaque forms on the teeth when starches and sugars in food interact with the bacteria that normally inhabit the human mouth.

Brushing the teeth with an appropriate toothpaste and flossing the spaces between the teeth remove the plaque. But this coating forms again and very quickly, within 24 hours.

When the plaque remains longer than 2-3 days on the teeth, it hardens under the gum in the form of tartar.

Calculus can also form as a result of the mineral content of saliva. Tartar makes it difficult to remove plaque and acts as a “reservoir” for bacteria.

Treatment of periodontitis

• Use a soft toothbrush and change it at least every 3 or 4 months;

• Consider using an electric toothbrush, which is more effective at removing plaque and tartar;

• Brush your teeth twice a day or even better after every meal or snack;

• Floss them daily;

• To reduce the amount of bacteria in the oral cavity and to increase the pH of the saliva, you can rinse twice a day with a solution of water and baking soda.

As a base, baking soda helps to slightly alkalinize the microflora of the oral cavity.

Prevention

The best prevention is the maintenance of excellent oral hygiene, the implementation of which should start from the earliest childhood and be practiced consistently throughout life.

A complete teeth cleaning should take between 3 and 5 minutes. Also recommended are preventive dental examinations and, if necessary, tartar cleaning every 6-12 months.

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