Most people are unaware of the numerous risk factors and early warning signs for periodontal disease. It is, however, important to understand this disease and know when to take action.
Smoking and poor oral hygiene are the most obvious risk factors, but there are many other factors people may not consider. These include the following:
- poorly controlled diabetes,
- teeth grinding,
- bite problems,
- hormone changes,
- a weakened immune system,
- certain medications, and
- genetic/hereditary conditions.
A common physical warning sign is inflamed gums. As soon as you notice an issue, one should contact a dental or periodontal professional as soon as possible.
In fact, periodontal disease effects more than just the mouth. The disease can raise the risk of other serious health problems, such as heart disease.
Once you visit the periodontist, he or shill will propose a treatment plan best fits your situation. Many people falsely assume that periodontal disease means surgery. Actually, in many cases it does not. Periodontists often simply recommend nonsurgical treatments. Nonsurgical treatments include, for example, scaling and root plating, antibiotics, and bite correction.
Although in some circumstances when nonsurgical treatments do not improve oral health or the patient displays an advanced case, the periodontist may see surgery as the best option.
Surgery is performed in the dental office, and you will most likely go home directly after. Surgeons will administer sedatives or anesthetics before the procedure. Therefore, you will not drive yourself post-surgery. Surgical procedures most commonly performed for periodontal disease include pocket reduction surgery, regenerative procedures, and gingival surgery.
Like most surgery, you can expect some pain or discomfort for a period of time. Prescribed medication will help control pain as well as infection.
Patients typically return anywhere from one to three weeks after surgery for follow-up appointments or the removal of stitches and dressings.
Treatment alone will not reverse the disease. It’s essential that the patient maintain ongoing maintenance to ensure the disease stays under control. It is incredibly important to protect your teeth whether you have periodontal disease or not. You can do this by flossing, brushing, using a tongue cleaner, as well as rinsing with mouth wash.