What is periodontitis and what causes it?
Periodontitis is one of the most common infections in humans, especially after the age of 35. It is an infection caused by bacteria that destroy the support of the tooth, gums and bone.
What are the symptoms of periodontitis?
The first symptom identified by the general population is bleeding gums or gingivitis, when brushing or spontaneously. Other symptoms are the mobility of the teeth, the movement of the gum up or down leaving longer teeth, also the migration of the teeth and the opening of spaces between the teeth -what we call black spaces or pockets- then there may even be suppuration, bad taste, halitosis or phlegmons.
How is periodontitis treated?
The treatment of periodontitis has three parts. An anti-infectious or systemic part where we do hygiene and give the patient oral medicine instructions. In this part we do deep hygiene and scaling to reduce infection. The second part consists of finishing the elimination of pockets or regenerating gum and bone, if possible with small minimally invasive surgical interventions. The third part is maintenance, which is absolutely necessary.
Is periodontitis contagious?
We do not have a definitive answer to this question. It has been proven that after 10 years of stable couples living together, some or many of these bacteria are transmitted. The truth is that we all have the bacteria that cause periodontitis at low levels and it is overgrowth, when we allow plaque to accumulate, along with genetic susceptibility, that generates the infection.
How can I keep my gums healthy after treatment?
Treatment of periodontitis does not work without maintenance; patients who have been shown to be susceptible must commit to maintenance consisting of hygiene every four to six months for the rest of their lives.