Periodontitis is the primary cause of tooth loss in adults. It is mainly caused by bacteria in dental plaque. In the early stages, it is mostly painless. The early symptoms of periodontitis are bleeding and shrinking gums and the loosening of teeth. You should visit your dentist regularly to maintain healthy gums and, if necessary, to detect and treat gum disease.
Periodontitis is preceded by gingivitis (gum inflammation) with red, bleeding and swollen gums. If the inflammation affects the periodontium, tooth root and bone tissues, we speak of periodontitis. It is the main cause of tooth loss in adults 45 and over.
In the early stage, the disease is normally painless. However, you may have symptoms such as swollen and easily bleeding gums, a bad taste in your mouth and bad breath. In the advanced stage, shrinking bones may lead to the loosening and subsequent loss of teeth. Periodontitis is also considered to increase the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and premature birth.
Periodontitis is caused by bacteria in dental plaque and tartar . If you smoke you are also more likely to get periodontal disease. The existing periodontal disease can easily be detected in course of a routine check-up at your dentist by screening gum pockets (PSI-index=Periodontal Screening Index).
Some further examinations such as microbiological tests and X-ray help determine the severity of the disease. At the pre-treatment visit, the patient receives medical advice on oral hygiene and professional dental cleaning. If necessary, dental plaque may also be controlled by applying chemical rinsing solutions. In the active treatment phase, the pockets and root surfaces are cleaned with ultrasound and special cleaning tools and under local anaesthesia.
The treatment method depends on the kind and severity of periodontal disease. Possible methods of treatment: Curettage is a procedure which is used to remove bacterial plaque and tartar above and below the gumline. Root smoothing is used to smooth rough root surfaces in order to support the process of gum regeneration. This treatment is carried out under local anaesthesia.
Special solutions remove toxins and bacteria from below the gumline so that gum tissues can heal. If deep gum pockets and progressive bone loss have been determined, your dentist may recommend further measures. Severe periodontitis may require further treatments, e.g. surgical pocket treatment, bone regeneration and antibiotics. A regular and lifelong post-treatment care helps maintain successful treatment results.