What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is inflammation of the gums and the soft and hard tissues surrounding the teeth.The teeth are embedded in the jawbone but there is a tissue called the "periodontal ligament" made of fibroelastic fibers between bone and root surface of the tooth. This tissue cushions the transmission of forces applied on the teeth to jawbone. These structures are covered by the gums and mouth mucosa.
The early period of periodontal diseases is called gingivitis, in which only the gums are affected among the surrounding tooth tissues. Inflammation of the gums by bacteria on the plaque is the onset of the disease. Plaque is an adhesive and colorless film layer that continuously forms on the teeth. Redness, bleeding and swelling is observed on gums during this period. Generally, there is no pain at this stage.
Gum diseases occur due to insufficient oral care. But they can be treated quickly after professional tartar scaling and regular personal oral care at home. If not treated, the disease progresses onto periodontitis, which is the destruction of gingival fibrils and alveole supporting teeth by inflammation that starts on the gum due to bacteria. There is a physiological gingival groove of 1-2 mm at the point where healthy gums and teeth connect. In periodontitis, this groove is deepened by bacteria and turns into a periodontal cavity.
Symptoms of Gum Diseases
The symptoms of gum disease include:
- Loose teeth
- Gum recession
- Sensitivity when drinking cold beverages
- Teeth do not close as before
- Bleeding teeth when brushing
- New gaps among teeth
- Constant cankers in the mouth
- Recent swelling and redness in the mouth
The most important aim in the treatment of the gums is to reduce and decelerate inflammation. The first stage of treatment aims to remove tartar, bacteria plaque and cavities that cause inflammation. Instruments and ultrasonic devices (cavitrone) are used to remove tartar and plaques. After this procedure, which is called detertrage, stains are cleaned with an airflow device. It is very important to start treatment early, as all diseases. Periodontal decay may be decelerated or ceased by early treatments with instruments and ultrasonic devices.
Tartar cleaning and professional oral care is sufficient to treat gum disease at the gingivitis stage. If the disease is at the periodontitis stage and the formation of cavities and bone decay has started, tartar scaling and curettage (flattening the root surface) is required. Curettage is performed by a periodontologist in two to four visits and requires skill and experience. At the end of the procedure, the root surface becomes smooth and thus prevents tartar and bacteria from re-adhering. The gum and jawbone are expected to be union again during the healing stage, which takes four to six months.