Do you have tender and bleeding gums or increased tooth mobility? Contact a specialist. These may be symptoms of periodontitis

Do you have tender and bleeding gums or increased tooth mobility? Contact a specialist. These may be symptoms of periodontitis

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Gum disease (periodontitis) is, along with caries, one of Poles' most common dental diseases, affecting nearly 50% of adult patients. Although the problem is serious, only one in ten of us is diagnosed or treated for this condition [1]. Undiagnosed and untreated periodontitis has very serious consequences. When untreated, it may even lead to tooth loss, so it is worthwhile to pay more attention to the prevention of periodontal disease. [1] 

What causes periodontitis

The disease is caused by bacteria accumulated in plaque and periodontal pockets. Germs accumulate when they are not removed during regular, daily cleaning of teeth. Symptoms of the disease are almost imperceptible, so you should even pay attention to the subtlest signals. Unfortunately, according to statistics, gums of nearly 99% of Poles need improvement with regard to oral hygiene, which indicates a low level of basic knowledge concerning dental disease prevention among Polish patients [1].

Symptoms of periodontitis

Periodontitis is a condition that develops slowly. Initially, it does not cause almost any pain. Patients sometimes complain of sensitive teeth/gums or bleeding during brushing. This may be the first symptoms of the disease. They should alert the patient and make him consult a specialist, adds Dr. Stankiewicz. This is extremely important because the untreated gum disease, in its most severe phase, leads to the loss of teeth.

explains Dr. Justyna Stankiewicz, MD, specialist in periodontal diseases at Medicover's Denta Care.

In more advanced periodontitis, we can observe the following symptoms:

  • swollen gums
  • bleeding
  • pain
  • loose teeth
  • discoloured gums – redness
  • tooth dislocation
  • tooth crowns looking elongated
  • bad breath

At the next visit to the dentist, it is worth asking for consultation with regard to periodontitis. This will enable to detect the disease earlier and stop it progress.

advises Dr. Justyna Stankiewicz, MD, specialist in periodontal diseases at Medicover's Denta Care.

Why consult a specialist?

During a visit to the periodontist, i.e. a dentist specialized in diseases of gum and oral mucosa, the doctor removes tartar, cleanses teeth of deposits in the gum area. The periodontist can also prescribe antibiotics if the disease is advanced. The patient's involvement is necessary, both with regard to treatment and prevention. The prevention consists primarily of careful tooth brushing, cleaning interdental spaces and removing oral bacteria by means of rinsing liquids. 

says Dr. Justyna Stankiewicz.

The treatment is a more complex process, consisting of three stages:

1. Hygienization
It involves professional cleaning of plaque by the dentist, using procedures such as scaling (above and below the gum line), sandblasting, and fluoridation. Scaling is the removal of tartar, formed as a result of the calcification of plaque. Sandblasting is a treatment that removes plaque and smoothens the surface of teeth, making it difficult for plaque to accumulate. The purpose of fluoridation is to strengthen tooth enamel by applying a special varnish or gel. At the hygienization stage, the general health of the oral cavity is restored, any defective fillings replaced, etc.

2. Correction
This stage mostly involves surgical interventions – usually several procedures of deep pocket cleaning, so called curettages. In this phase, other surgical procedures can also be performed, e.g. transplants, bone regeneration, etc.

3. Maintenance
It's aim is to preserve the results of the stages of hygienization and correction. It consists of regular check-ups with a periodontist and daily oral cavity hygiene. As experts emphasize, in order to avoid periodontitis, one should ensure proper oral hygiene, not only through daily tooth brushing, but also by cleaning interdental spaces, especially after meals. It is also worth meeting your dentist at least twice a year for professional tooth cleaning.

[1] http://swiatlekarza.pl/1-proc-osob-polsce-zdrowe-przyzebie/ Only 1% of people in Poland have a healthy periodontium – Świat Lekarza Most people seem to think that gum disease concerns exclusively periodontal tissues and tooth loss is its only consequence when untreated.

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