Periodontitis is also called gum disease is a serious gum infection that damages the soft tissue and if left untreated it can destroy the bone that supports teeth. Periodontitis can cause teeth to loosen or lead to tooth loss.Periodontitis is common but largely preventable. It is usually the result of poor oral hygiene. Brushing at least twice a day, flossing daily and getting regular dental checkups can greatly improve chances of successful treatment for periodontitis and can also reduce chance of developing it.
SYMPTOMS OF PERIODONTITIS
Healthy gums are firm and pale pink and fit snugly around teeth. Signs and symptoms of periodontitis can include:
- Swollen or puffy gums
- Bright red, dusky red or purplish gums
- Gums that feel tender when touched
- Gums that bleed easily
- Pink-tinged toothbrush after brushing
- Spitting out blood when brushing or flossing your teeth
- Bad breath
- Pus between our teeth and gums
- Loose teeth or loss of teeth
- Painful chewing
- New spaces developing between our teeth
- Gums that pull away from our teeth (recede), making our teeth look longer than normal
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
CAUSES OF PERIODONTITIS
In most cases, the development of periodontitis starts with plaque ie. a sticky film composed mainly of bacteria. If left untreated, plaque can eventually advance to periodontitis as given below
- Plaque forms on teeth when starches and sugars in food interact with bacteria normally found in our mouth. Brushing teeth twice a day and flossing once a day removes plaque, but plaque re-forms quickly.
- Plaque can harden under our gumline into tartar (calculus) if it stays on our teeth. Tartar is more difficult to remove and it is filled with bacteria. The longer plaque and tartar remain on our teeth, the more damage they can do. we can not get rid of tartar by brushing and flossing but proper treatment is required.
- Plaque can cause gingivitis, the mildest form of gum disease. Gingivitis is irritation and inflammation of the part of our gum tissue around the base of our teeth (gingiva). Gingivitis can be reversed with professional treatment and good home oral care.
- Ongoing gum inflammation can cause periodontitis, eventually causing pockets to develop between our gums and teeth that fill with plaque, tartar and bacteria. In time, these pockets become deeper, filling with more bacteria. If not treated, these deep infections cause a loss of tissue and bone, and ultimately we may lose one or more teeth. Also, ongoing chronic inflammation can put a strain on our immune system.
Factors that can increase our risk of periodontitis include:
- Poor oral health habits
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Hormonal changes, such as those related to pregnancy or menopause
- Recreational drug use, such as smoking marijuana or vaping
- Inadequate nutrition, including vitamin C deficiency
- Certain medications that cause dry mouth or gum changes
- Conditions that cause decreased immunity, such as leukemia, HIV/AIDS and cancer treatment
- Certain diseases, such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease
COMPLICATIONS OF PERIODONTITIS
Periodontitis can cause tooth loss. The bacteria responsible for periodontitis can enter our bloodstream through gum tissue, possibly affecting other parts of our body. For example, periodontitis is linked with respiratory disease, rheumatoid arthritis, coronary artery disease and problems controlling blood sugar in diabetes.
PREVENTION OF PERIODONTITIS
The best way to prevent periodontitis is to follow a program of good oral hygiene, one that we begin early and practice consistently throughout life.
- Good oral hygiene- That means brushing our teeth for two minutes at least twice daily in the morning and before going to bed and flossing at least once a day. Flossing before we brush allows us to clean away the loosened food particles and bacteria. Good oral hygiene prevents the development of an environment around our teeth that is favorable to specific bacteria that cause periodontal disease.
- Regular dental visits-See dentist or dental hygienist regularly for cleanings, usually every six to 12 months. If one have risk factors that increase our chance of developing periodontitis such as having dry mouth, taking certain medications or smoking one may need professional cleaning more often.
HOMOEOPATHIC TREATMENT FOR PERIODONTITIS
MERC SOL : Useful for periodontitis with very red, swollen, inflamed, soft, spongy gums that are very sensitive and painful to touch which may be attended with burning sensation in gums. Along with this the gums also bleed easily even on slightly touch.There is offensive odour from mouth with excessive salivation and metallic taste in the mouth .Also indicated for cases where gums are destroyed and when gums recede from the teeth.
SILICEA : Useful medcine for periodontitis when there is intense swelling of gums which s very sore, painful, sensitive and bleed easily, and are painful to little pressure. Given when there a feeling that the teeth are too long.
NATRUM MUR : Very useful medicine for podontitis cases where gums are bluish,red,swollen and painful which is burning, smarting type.Given when pain is felt usually while eating oe sometime when chewing.
PHOSPHORUS : Helpful for case of periodontitis with easy bleeding from gums which arises especially from touching the gums. Pain in teeth, mainly throbbing type with sore, swollen gums may accompany this. Another prominent symptom along with above is loosening of teeth in gums.
CARBO VEG : This medicine is well indicated when the gums recede from the teeth and as a result teeth become loose. The teeth also feel elongated. Persons needing it complain of soreness, pain and sensitivity in gums. They also have complaints of easy bleeding from gums especially when sucking or cleaning them.