Periodontitis is a disease of the tooth’s gum, bone, and other supporting structures. This serious gum infection will damage the soft tissue and bone that support your teeth. This will eventually cause your teeth to loosen and even fall out. Knoxville, TN periodontist Dr. Robert Cain provides comprehensive and personalized treatment plans for patients with periodontitis.
Periodontitis is a leading cause of tooth loss in adults but is easily preventable. Periodontitis is the next stage of gum disease after gingivitis. Gingivitis is an early stage of gum disease caused by poor oral health care and plaque buildup that will lead to gum inflammation. It is typically easy to treat and can be reversed easily by your dentist.
If left untreated, however, gingivitis will develop into periodontitis. Eventually, pockets will develop between your gums and your teeth from the gum inflammation. These pockets will fill up with plaque, tartar, and bacteria and will get deeper and deeper when left untreated.
This serious bacterial infection can cause many oral and overall health issues, including tooth loss.
Common symptoms of Periodontitis include:
- Red, swollen, or sore gums
- Bleeding gums
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth
- Mouth sores or pus between gums and teeth
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Changes in the fit of dentures
- Painful chewing
Periodontitis Treatment in Knoxville, TN
Every patient is treated as an individual at our Knoxville, TN periodontist office. Our dedicated and highly trained team will help you build a customized treatment plan to address your periodontitis. The sooner you seek treatment, the better the outcome.
If you let the disease progress, you may risk losing all your teeth, and replacing them will be extremely costly. Also, scientists have linked periodontitis to heart disease, cardiovascular disease, and even stroke.
Dr. Cain uses periodontal microsurgery for the treatment of periodontitis. Periodontal microsurgery is minimally invasive and causes less bleeding and swelling of the tissues than traditional methods.
With periodontal microsurgery, Dr. Cain can add or remove gum tissue, graft soft tissue, and do a ridge augmentation. He may also use tissue regeneration to help stimulate the natural regrowth of the bone.
With precise and careful movements, Dr. Cain can create smaller incisions with cleaner edges for reduced downtimes. Most patients can resume their daily routines shortly after their treatment.
How to Prevent Periodontitis
The best way to prevent periodontitis is with daily, consistent oral hygiene. This includes brushing your teeth after each meal, flossing at least once daily, and using mouthwash. If you neglect to see your dentist regularly, you could develop gingivitis which can go undetected. Then that can lead to periodontitis.
Regular professional dental cleanings can help keep your gums healthy and allow Dr. Cain to eradicate any signs of disease as soon as possible. It’s also important to know your risk factors. If you discover that you are at an increased risk of periodontitis, you should see your dentist as soon as possible.
Many risk factors can cause periodontitis, including:
- Poor oral health habits
- Not visiting your dentist regularly
- Chewing Tobacco
- Drug addiction
- Poor overall health
- Certain medications
Periodontitis is a serious condition that can increase your chances of various health problems. Not only does periodontitis impact the health of your mouth, but it can have consequences throughout your entire body. We offer multiple treatment options for the condition that vary based on the severity. Each patient experiences things differently, so we create a personalized plan to ensure we provide you with the best treatment possible.
For most stages of periodontitis, we use deep cleaning techniques called scaling and root planing. We use specialized devices to thoroughly clean off all plaque and calculus buildup on and between teeth. If you have gum pockets, we’ll clean out the buildup of bacteria and debris. Root planing involves smoothing down the tooth roots so that the gum tissue can reattach to the bone. We may prescribe a microbial mouthwash or antibiotics to reduce the bacteria in the mouth and keep things under control.
We can only manage the condition in advanced cases with laser gum treatment or periodontal surgery. Bone or tissue grafts can replace bone or tissue worn away and attacked by bacteria. Grafts can stabilize your oral health and restore your mouth’s functionality. Our goal is to get you back to full functionality so that you can live your life.
Periodontitis can have severe impacts on both your oral and overall health. Learn more about the condition by reading the answers to these frequently asked questions.
What are the four stages of periodontal disease?
The four stages of periodontal disease are gingivitis, slight periodontal disease, moderate periodontal disease, and advanced periodontal disease. If caught early, the first stage is reversible, but the damage is permanent once it has progressed into further stages.
What does periodontal disease look like?
Periodontal disease typically appears as red, swollen gum that is sensitive and bleeds easily. Many patients also struggle with bad breath. Plaque buildup is commonly associated with periodontal disease.
Can a salt water rinse help heal gum infections?
Saltwater rinse has been shown to help heal gum infections caused by gingivitis. Salt draws out infection and allows for gum irritation to be soothed. Salt also works as a disinfectant to help draw out infection.
Is periodontal treatment painful?
The periodontal treatment itself is not painful. Dentists use an anesthetic so patients do not feel pain during treatment. Patients may feel discomfort after treatment once the anesthetic has worn off, but it is minimal.
Is periodontitis curable?
Periodontitis can be reversed in its earliest stage, gingivitis. Once this disease has reached its further stages, it can not be cured, only treated.
How do you prevent periodontal disease from getting worse?
Patients can prevent periodontal disease from worsening at home by improving their oral care routine. Brushing and flossing at least twice daily is a great way to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Patients can also do saltwater rinses to remove inflammation and bacteria from the gums.