Periodontitis Gum Disease Treatment in Fresno, CA: Symptoms and Causes
Did you know that, as per the WHO Global Oral Health Status Report (2022), nearly 3.5 billion people worldwide are affected by oral diseases? Among these, severe periodontal diseases impact approximately 19% of the global adult population, representing a staggering 1 billion cases. The primary culprits behind these alarming statistics are poor oral hygiene practices and tobacco use. Unfortunately, this trend is escalating day by day due to the lack of access to appropriate and timely Gum Disease Treatment in Fresno, CA.
Recognizing the urgency of addressing this concerning rise, we at Sidhu Family Dentistry are committed to providing a complete guide to the symptoms, causes, and treatment options for such a dangerous gum disease. The blog aims to empower individuals in Fresno with the knowledge needed to understand, prevent, and seek timely treatment for periodontal diseases. By shedding light on this critical issue, we aspire to contribute to the collective effort to ensure better oral health outcomes for our community.
Periodontitis and Its Symptoms
Periodontitis is a serious gum infection that damages the soft tissue and destroys the bone that supports your teeth. It is a more advanced stage of gum disease compared to gingivitis. Symptoms of periodontitis can vary in severity, but common signs and symptoms include:
- Swollen Or Puffy Gums: Inflammation is a key characteristic of periodontitis, leading to swollen or puffy gums.
- Bleeding Gums: Gums that bleed easily, especially during brushing or flossing, can be a sign of periodontitis.
- Bad Breath (Halitosis): Persistent bad breath can be a result of the bacteria causing the infection in the gums.
- Receding Gums: As the infection progresses, the gums may pull away from the teeth, making the teeth appear longer.
- Deep Pockets Between Teeth And Gums: Healthy gums have shallow spaces between the teeth and gums. In periodontitis, these spaces become deeper, forming pockets where bacteria can thrive.
- Loose Or Shifting Teeth: The destruction of the bone and supporting tissues can cause teeth to become loose or shift in position.
- Changes in Bite or the Way Teeth Fit Together: As teeth shift, there may be changes in the way your upper and lower teeth come together when you bite.
- Pus Between Teeth And Gums: In some cases, there may be visible pus between the teeth and gums.
- Tenderness or Discomfort: Gums may be tender to the touch, and there can be discomfort or pain while chewing.
- Changes in the Fit of Partial Dentures: For those with partial dentures, there may be changes in how they fit due to alterations in the gum and bone structure.
It is important to note that periodontitis can progress slowly and may not always cause pain, so regular dental check-ups are crucial for early detection and treatment. If you suspect you have periodontitis or are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is essential to consult with a Best Cosmetic Dentist in Fresno, CA or periodontist for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
Causes of Periodontal Disease
Periodontal gum disease is primarily caused by the presence of bacterial plaque on the teeth and gums. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on the teeth when sugars and starches in food interact with the bacteria naturally present in the mouth. While plaque is a normal part of oral bacteria, when it is not adequately removed through proper oral hygiene, it can lead to gum disease. Several factors contribute to the development of periodontal disease:
- Poor Oral Hygiene: Inadequate brushing and flossing allow plaque to accumulate on the teeth, leading to inflammation of the gums and, eventually, gum disease.
- Tobacco Use: Smoking or using tobacco products is a significant risk factor for periodontal disease. It can impair the healing process and increase the severity of the condition.
- Genetics: Some individuals may be more genetically predisposed to developing periodontal disease. If family members have a history of gum problems, it may increase the risk for others in the family.
- Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions can contribute to the development or exacerbation of periodontal disease. Examples include diabetes, immune disorders, and hormonal changes (e.g., pregnancy, menopause).
- Poor Nutrition: A diet lacking essential nutrients can weaken the immune system and make it more difficult for the body to fight off infections, including those affecting the gums.
- Grinding or Clenching Teeth (Bruxism): Excessive teeth grinding or clenching can put added stress on the supporting structures of the teeth, potentially contributing to the progression of gum disease.
- Medications: Some medications, such as certain antihypertensive drugs, anticonvulsants, and immunosuppressants, may have side effects that affect gum health.
- Age: The risk of periodontal disease tends to increase with age. Older individuals may have been exposed to risk factors for a longer period, contributing to the development of gum disease.
- Poorly-Fitted Dental Appliances: Dental appliances that don’t fit well, such as braces or dentures, can create areas where plaque accumulates, increasing the risk of gum disease.
- Stress: Chronic stress can weaken the immune system, making the body more susceptible to infections, including those affecting the gums.
Process of Gum Disease Treatment
While Periodontitis is considered an advanced stage of gum disease characterized by inflammation of the supporting structures of the teeth, including the gums, periodontal ligament, and alveolar bone (bone containing the tooth sockets), the specialized Gum Disease Treatment in Fresno for periodontitis becomes more intensive than for gingivitis (early-stage gum disease). It often involves a combination of professional interventions and ongoing home care. At SFD, we follow a comprehensive approach to treat the intense stage of gum disease:
Scaling and Root Planing (Deep Cleaning): The initial step involves a deep cleaning procedure known as scaling and root planing. This is usually performed by a dental hygienist or periodontist. It involves the removal of plaque and tartar from below the gumline and smoothing the root surfaces to promote healing.
1. Antibiotics: Antibiotics may be prescribed to control bacterial infection, especially if there are signs of persistent inflammation or if the disease has progressed.
2. Periodontal Maintenance: After scaling and root planing, regular maintenance appointments are essential for ongoing care. These appointments typically involve monitoring the health of the gums, removing any new plaque or tartar buildup, and providing additional treatments as needed.
3. Surgical Procedures: In cases where periodontitis has caused significant damage, surgical interventions may be necessary. These may include:
- Flap Surgery: Lifting the gums to access the roots for thorough cleaning.
- Bone Grafts: Rebuilding damaged bone tissue.
- Guided Tissue Regeneration: Stimulating the regrowth of damaged tissues.
4. Laser Therapy: Some dentists use lasers to remove inflamed gum tissue and bacteria during periodontal procedures. Laser therapy can be less invasive and may result in quicker healing.
5. Pocket Reduction Surgery: In cases where deep pockets have formed between the teeth and gums, surgery may be performed to reduce the pocket depth and make it easier to maintain oral hygiene.
Periodontitis demands prompt attention and specialized treatment. In Fresno, CA, a range of effective treatments is available to address the symptoms and causes of periodontitis, promoting not only oral health but overall well-being. Thus, if you suspect gum disease, do not hesitate to consult our expert dentists at SFD for personalized evaluation and professional Gum Disease Treatment in Fresno, CA.