Prevention and treatment of periodontitis

Is it normal for gums to bleed?

Healthy gums never bleed. If there is bleeding it will indicate that there is inflammation of the gums, which can be a sign that we suffer from gingivitis or periodontitis.

What factors can cause the appearance of gingivitis and periodontitis?

Both are infectious diseases caused by bacteria when they accumulate on the teeth. In addition, there are also factors that can influence their rate of progression, such as genetic susceptibility, diabetes, heavy smoking and stress.

We could say that gingivitis is a more superficial affectation. When the disease progresses and affects the bone that supports the teeth, it becomes periodontitis.

How can we know if we suffer from periodontitis?

Periodontitis, in its beginning and in most of its progression, is a disease that does not cause pain, so many people who suffer from it are not aware of it. For this reason it is very important to know how to detect the symptoms and signs that may appear in its evolution.

One of its first manifestations is bleeding gums. As bone is lost and the disease progresses, the following symptoms appear: teeth that appear longer and longer (because the gum recedes) halitosis, retention of food, gaps between the teeth, sometimes sensitivity to cold and in the later stages dental mobility. When we begin to be aware that some teeth are moving, this is an indication that the “pyorrhea” is at a fairly advanced stage.

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How are these disorders treated?

In addition to trying to control the factors that cause periodontitis to progress faster (monitoring diabetes, smoking cessation…), the treatment focuses on eliminating the main cause of periodontitis, bacteria. These adhere to the tooth forming part of the bacterial plaque and tartar, so it is essential to eliminate them in order to decontaminate the dental surface.

Once this “decontamination” phase has been overcome, when the gum has already deflated, it is sometimes necessary to carry out some corrections of the sequelae by means of esthetic periodontal microsurgery techniques, porcelain veneers or other methods of dental esthetics.

What recommendations can we carry out to maintain good gum health?

To take care of the state of the gums it is essential to maintain good oral hygiene at home, brushing the teeth and complementing the cleaning with additional maneuvers that have been indicated to us, such as flossing. It is also necessary to have regular check-ups with the dentist, because as we have mentioned, periodontal disease is often present but we do not realize it.

If we suffer from periodontitis and we have already been treated, we must follow the maintenance program indicated. Since it is a chronic problem, we must keep it under strict control.