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Periodontitis treatment

Periodontal disease is a bacterial inflammation with local as well as systemic manifestation. It affects the gums, the bone, and the other tissues that surround and support teeth.
It is very common (over 50% of the population suffer from it) and it is the main cause of tooth loss in adults.
The most mild form is gingivitis, which, if left untreated, can evolve into the most severe form of periodontal disease, periodontitis.

What is periodontitis
Periodontitis is an inflammation that extends deeper into the tissues and is the second stage of gingivitis, where, apart from the gums, the bone surrounding the teeth is also affected. Gradually, this leads to the absorption of the bone, the loosening and increased mobility of the teeth, and, finally, the loss of teeth.

The main causes of periodontal disease are the combination of bacteria that exist normally in the mouth with the accumulation of food debris, which form dental plaque. The absence of thorough daily oral hygiene can result in the multiplication of these bacteria, their conversion into pathogens, and the gradual appearance of increasingly intense inflammation.

Predisposing factors 
The appearance of this disease, and its severity, can be affected by factors such as:

  • Heredity
  • Smoking
  • Hormonal disorders, pregnancy
  • Systemic diseases, such as diabetes mellitus
  • Psychological factors, such as stress
  • Diseases related to immune deficiency
  • Various drugs (antihypertensive, antiepileptic, etc.)

The type of treatment is determined per each case individually and depends on the nature and severity of the disease. Treatment is classified under two major categories: conservative and surgical treatment.

Conservative treatment includes the removal of the inflammation and tartar via "deep cleaning" in 3-6 sessions, and from then on, the training of the patient regarding proper oral hygiene.
Quite often these days conservative treatment is accompanied by the use of  laser technology that can contribute to the reduction of the bacterial population.
If the conservative treatment does not bring the desired results, then microsurgery can be performed, aimed at the more effective mechanical cleaning of the inflammation and the regeneration of the bone. The latter is carried out via the placement of bone grafts or membranes for regulated tissue regeneration.

Periodontitis and general health
It has now been proven that the chronic inflammation that accompanies this disease can be the reason for the appearance of cardiovascular diseases, especially in patients with no other etiological factors. It can also be the reason for the insufficient control of glucose levels in diabetic patients and the birth of premature and low birth-weight babies.

Importance of prevention
The appearance and evolution of the periodontal disease can be prevented through a suitable application of regular oral hygiene (correct brushing, dental flossing, interdental brushes, mouthwash) and regular visits to the dentist.
One must bear in mind that, sometimes, periodontal disease can exist with no apparent symptoms, and for this reason it is essential to visit the dentist at least once or twice per year.