Periodontitis is also known as gum disease. It is a very serious oral health condition because it can lead to oral infections and tooth loss. Periodontitis is typically caused by the buildup of plaque and infectious bacteria on the teeth and gums. This can lead can to oral inflammation, soft tissue infections inside your mouth, gum damage, and damage to the soft tissues and bones that support your teeth. If you develop jawbone damage, your dentist may refer you to a periodontist or oral surgeon for additional testing and treatment. Here are some steps to take to help prevent periodontitis and how to treat periodontitis if it develops.
Periodontitis Prevention Interventions
The most important thing you can do to help prevent periodontitis is to maintain good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing your teeth every day, especially after mealtimes. Brushing your teeth with a soft toothbrush and toothpaste that contains fluoride can help remove plaque before it turns into tartar. Fluoridated toothpaste can also lower your risk for dental decay, which may be more common in people with severe periodontal disease.
Eating healthy is also another way to help prevent periodontitis. Consuming nutrient-dense foods high in vitamin D and calcium and limiting your intake of high-sugar and acidic foods can also lower your risk of developing gum disease. One of the most important things you can do to help minimize your risk for periodontitis is to visit your dentist on a regular basis for cleanings and checkups.
If you develop periodontitis despite maintaining a good routine of oral care, eating healthy, and seeing your dentist regularly, there are various treatment options to help reverse the condition. Dentists often recommend a procedure known as scaling and root planing to help eliminate calculus and plaque from your teeth and below your gumline. This procedure also smooths out the rough parts of the tooth roots to help facilitate healing and prevent additional plaque from building up on your teeth.
Your dentist may also prescribe antibiotics to help lower the bacterial count inside your mouth and to help suppress gum inflammation. If you have lost your teeth as a result of severe periodontitis, dental implants may be an effective way to restore your oral health and enhance your smile.
If you have gum disease, make an appointment with a dentist. When early-stage gum disease is treated, it may be less likely to progress to periodontal disease, which can destroy your jawbone and alter your facial appearance.