FAQ about Periodontolgy
Periodontitis, also known as gum disease, is a set of inflammatory diseasesaffecting the tissues surrounding the teeth. Periodontitis involves progressive loss of the alveolar bonearound the teeth, and if left untreated, can lead to the loosening and subsequent loss of teeth. Periodontitis is considered the most frequent loss of teeth in adults over 45 years old. Periodontitis can be diagnosed by a periodontist or by a dentist in early stages (periodontics). Unfortunately patients realize they have some kind of periodontal disease when the disease has already advanced.
Symptoms of periodontal disease:
• Spontaneous gum bleeding or gum bleeding during brushing
• Red, swollen or sensitive gum
• Gum recession
• Tooth mobility
• Gum looking detached from the tooth
• Tooth migration or movement
• Pus exudation
• Occlusion or biting discrepancies
Risk factors and indicators for periodontal disease:
• Poor oral hygiene
• Genetics (Family history of periodontal disease)
• Systemic disease
• Immunosuppressant diseases
• Hormonic disorders
• Trauma from occlusion
Can periodontitis be treated instantaneously?
Treatment of periodontitis is an ongoing lifelong process. Despite that, periodontal treatment can benefit the patient right away, as long as the instructions given by the periodontist are followed by letter, such as the oral hygiene instructions, medication use, and recalls as decided. Do not forget though that the patient’s overall health, any medications taken for systemic diseases and health problems like diabetes do affect the response to periodontal treatment.
Is smoking associated with periodontitis?
Longterm clinical studies have proved the strong association between these two. Specifically, smoking is the biggest risk factor for periodontal disease. Smokers are in higher risk to develop periodontal disease, are more prompt to disease advancement and bone loss, and they respond less favorably to treatment.
Is periodontitis associated with genetics?
Clinical studies have shown that a big percentage of the population is “sensitive” to periodontal disease. These people despite their good oral hygiene they are more likely to develop periodontal disease.
Is halitosis associated with periodontitis?
Halitosis often is a symptom of periodontal disease. Periodontitis though, is not the only cause for halitosis. Halitosis can be caused by a variety of things, such as periodontal disease, poor oral hygiene, smoking, dietary habits, caries, diabetes, infections etc. For the treatment of halitosis correct diagnosis and proper treatment must take place.
I have gum recession, my teeth are mobile, my breath smells, and when I brush my gum bleed. Do I need periodontal treatment?
These are some of the symptoms someone may have with periodontal disease. They could indicate the presence of periodontal disease or something else. You should contact your Periodontist as soon as possible, for diagnosis of your problem and proper care.
When do I need to have a periodontal evaluation?
Periodontal evaluation takes place on every patient, every time they visit a dentist, as part of their overall dental examination. If the dentist deems necessary for the patient to consult a periodontist, then he patient is referred to one. In case you have one of the following symptoms, then you should visit a periodontist for a periodontal evaluation your self.
You notice your gum are red, swollen, and bleed during brushing or flossing
You notice gum recession
You notice halitosis, pus exudation, changes in the way your teeth bite and close, or persistent oral lesions
You are trying to get pregnant
You have a family history for periodontal disease
You suffer from heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis etc
Before radiotherapy or chemotherapy
Can a mobile tooth be saved?
Depending on the etiology causing the tooth mobility, how big the mobility is, and other factors considered by your periodontist, even a tooth with mobility can be saved.
Is periodontitis associated with medications I take?
Medications and diseases such as diabetes are risk factors and indicators for periodontal disease. Your periodontist will let you know if such an association exists with the medications you are taking.
Is periodontitis associated with heart disease?
Clinical studies have indicated that periodontal disease may be associated or causing heart disease, preterm birth and low birth weight, diabetes, obesity etc, but a direct relationship between them has not be found yet. Good periodontal health is necessary for the overall health of an individual.
What happens on the first appointment with the Periodontist?
complete medical and dental history
complete clinical and radiographic examination
if necessary photographs of the teeth and the oral cavity
proper oral hygiene instructions are given
These diagnostic information are analyzed and discussed on the next appointment, where your periodontist will discuss with you the diagnosis of your problem, the prognosis and all the alternative treatment plan options available. By the end of the consult appointment, you will be informed about your problem, all the available treatment plan options, the cost, the time needed for the treatment plan to be completed, and all the questions you may have will be answered. Before any treatment starts, the patient will be informed about all these, and he or she will give his/her consent to treatment plan.