The health of the mouth is an integral part of the overall health, so care must be taken to preserve it. Poor oral hygiene or a diet high in sugar can promote proliferation of harmful bacteria and emergence of several ailments such as tooth decay, bad breath, inflamed gums, etc. In this article, we will focus on periodontitis, its causes, symptoms and treatment.
What is periodontitis?
Periodontitis is the result of inflammation of the periodontium, all tissues that surround and support the teeth. This includes the gum, supporting fibers and bone. Usually beginning with gingivitis (gum inflammation), it extends gradually to the bone forming infected pockets around the teeth. If it is not treated in time, it can cause loosening or even loss of teeth, and destruction of the bone in which they are embedded.
This phenomenon usually occurs in adults, but can sometimes occur at early age and affect the children and adolescents.
There are two types of periodontitis:
- Chronic periodontitis: it has a slow to moderate growth rate that can be spread over several years and causes harmful effects on the body because it increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Aggressive periodontitis: it usually occurs around adolescence or before thirty. It occurs in localized or generalized manner, rapidly changing and is characterized by bone destruction.
Causes of periodontitis
This disease can be caused by several factors, including:
- Some diseases like cancer or AIDS
- Poor oral hygiene that promotes plaque buildup
- Poor diet
- Weakened immune system, which can’t fight harmful bacteria and restore the balance between them and the “healthy” oral bacteria
- Genetic predisposition
- Hormonal disorders (pregnancy, menopause, etc.)
- Some medications (antihypertensives, antihistamines …)
Symptoms of the disease
Symptoms of periodontitis generally while the disease progresses. That is why you must pay attention to make regular checks with your dentist.
The main symptoms of periodontitis:
- You constantly have a metallic taste in your mouth along with bad breath
- Your gums are inflamed, swollen and red
- Gums bleed when brushing or just spontaneously bleed
- They retract and are painful
- Gums abscess
- You have an empty space between the teeth and gums
- You have pain during chewing
- You feel that your teeth are moving and can fall from one moment to the other
How to treat periodontitis?
In general, a simple scaling and professional cleaning of teeth, roots and gums can stop the progression of the disease. Combined with proper and regular cleaning at home, and sometimes the use of mouthwash, can help overcome the disease.
Contrary, if periodontitis is highly developed and the cleaning does not get to all infected periodontal pockets, or when the person is suffering from aggressive periodontitis rapidly changing, diabetes or heart disease, an antibiotic treatment is necessary.
The last resort is reserved for extreme cases where the bone was destroyed or in cases of completely retracted gums. This is the surgical treatment. Done in 5-10% of cases, it can be a transplant of the gum and filling of bony destruction (by grafting the bone or implantation of membranes for bone growth) to obtain a better support and anchorage of the teeth.
To avoid the risk of disease and recurrence, you must brush your teeth at least three times a day with a soft toothbrush to avoid damaging your gums, occasionally use mouthwash and also brush your tongue. Moreover, a healthy and balanced diet will help you better maintain your oral and general health.
To help you get rid of the disease in case of its appearance, here are some natural remedies that you may apply:
- Dilute a little sea salt in water and rinse your mouth with salt water several times a day.
- Rinse your mouth with a solution of water and apple cider vinegar only twice a week due to the abrasive action of the product.
- The evening before bed, rub your gums with a little olive oil, without rinsing.