Periodontitis: What is it?

Periodontitis might sound like some fancy or rare disease that you don’t have to worry about, but really anyone with poor dental hygiene is at risk. Periodontitis is a very serious infection in your gums that reaches as far down as the bone structure that holds all of your teeth. As it progresses, it damages more soft tissue and destroys more bone putting your entire body at risk for serious health issues.

Periodontitis not only can cause your teeth to fall out, but it can lead to a higher risk of stroke or heart attack. This is because the bacteria travels from your infected gums directly into your body. When plaque and tartar build up on the teeth, the bacteria that is trapped begins to irritate the gums. The beginning stages of periodontal disease is gingivitis. If you allow gingivitis to progress, pockets begin to form between your gums and your teeth that allow even more bacteria to flow into your body. If you are a smoker, have diabetes, or have any immune diseases, your risk of periodontitis becomes a lot higher.

Depending on how much the disease has progressed, there are different ways that your dentist can treat you. The most simple is antibiotics. A topical or oral antibiotic might be prescribed to help remove the infection. Your dentist can also perform scaling which removes the tartar and bacteria manually or root planing which helps even out the surfaces of the root making it more difficult for tartar and bacteria to build up.

If your periodontitis is extremely serious, surgery might be required. There are different types of surgery (flap surgery – a more invasive surgical way to complete scaling and root planing, soft tissue grafts, and bone grafting – for reconstruction of the destroyed area.)

If you think you have periodontitis, make an appointment with your dentist right away. Dr. Lorraine Burio of Candlewood Dental Care has been treating patients in the New Fairfield, CT area for over twenty-five years and has the best and most updated treatments available for your dental ailments. If you have any questions call us at 203-746-1200 or make an appointment here.