Moderate Periodontal Disease: The Warning Signs and Treatment Options
Moderate periodontitis is a serious form of gum disease that affects millions of people worldwide, and, if left untreated, can lead to tooth loss and other health complications. This stage of gum disease requires immediate attention and treatment to prevent further damage to the gums and supporting structures of the teeth.
Our Seattle dentist knows it’s essential to understand what moderate periodontitis is, its causes, symptoms, and available treatment options to provide effective care
What Is Moderate Periodontitis?
Moderate periodontitis is one of the stages of gum disease and occurs when the bacteria in plaque start to spread below the gum line, leading to inflammation and damage to the gums and bone that support the teeth. The bacteria in the plaque produce toxins that irritate the gum tissues, causing the gums to pull away from the teeth, creating pockets that collect more bacteria and food particles.
If left untreated, the pockets can deepen, and the bacteria can destroy the bone that supports the teeth, leading to tooth loss. Moderate periodontal disease is typically identified by measuring the depth of the pockets around the teeth.
Symptoms of Moderate Periodontal Disease
Moderate periodontal disease can cause various symptoms, including:
- Swollen or Bleeding Gums: Gums can become inflamed and appear red, swollen, and tender. You may notice bleeding gums as well when brushing or flossing your teeth.
- Bad Breath: The bacteria in the pockets produce a foul smell that causes bad breath.
- Receding Gums: The gums start to pull away from the teeth, making them appear longer than usual.
- Tooth Sensitivity: The exposed tooth root can cause sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures.
- Loose Teeth: As the disease progresses, the bone that supports the teeth is destroyed, leading to loose teeth.
Various risk factors can increase your chances of developing moderate gum disease, including:
- Poor Oral Hygiene
- Tobacco Use
- Genetic Predisposition
- Hormonal Changes
- Systemic Conditions
- Poor Nutrition
- Teeth Grinding
Treatment for Moderate Periodontal Disease
- Scaling and Root Planing: This procedure, performed by a dental professional, involves a deep cleaning of the teeth and gums. It aims to remove plaque, tartar (calculus), and bacteria from above and below the gum line. Scaling helps remove the accumulated deposits, while root planing smoothes the tooth roots to promote gum reattachment and discourage bacteria from adhering to the surfaces.
- Antibiotic Treatment: In some cases, antibiotics may be prescribed to control the gum infection and reduce inflammation. These antibiotics can be taken orally or applied topically directly to the affected areas. They help eliminate the bacteria causing gum disease.
- Pocket Reduction Surgery: If the periodontal pockets (spaces between the gums and teeth) are deep and difficult to clean, your dentist or periodontist may recommend a surgical procedure to access and clean the affected areas more effectively. During the surgery, the gum tissue is gently lifted, and the underlying tartar is removed. Then, the gum tissue is repositioned and stitched back in place to reduce the pocket depth.
- Ongoing Maintenance: Following the initial treatment, it’s crucial to maintain good oral hygiene practices at home. This includes brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing daily, and using an antimicrobial mouth rinse as prescribed by your dentist. Regular dental checkups and professional cleanings every three to six months are also necessary to monitor the condition and prevent the recurrence or progression of periodontal disease.
- Lifestyle changes: Factors such as smoking and poor nutrition can contribute to the progression of gum disease. Quitting smoking and adopting a healthy lifestyle can support the healing process.
Frequently Asked Questions
While moderate gum disease can’t be reversed, it can be treated to prevent further damage and tooth loss. Treatment can also ease your symptoms and start you on the journey to healthy gums. Without treatment, it can progress to advanced periodontal disease, leading to further complications.
Yes, moderate periodontitis has been linked to several health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
The best way to prevent moderate gum disease is to maintain good oral hygiene habits such as brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist regularly for checkups and dental cleanings. It’s also essential to avoid smoking, which can increase the risk of gum disease.
While good oral hygiene habits are crucial for preventing and managing the disease, moderate gum disease requires professional treatment from a dentist. Avoid using home remedies or over-the-counter products without consulting with your dentist first, as they may not be effective and could worsen the condition.
Don’t Let Periodontitis Go Untreated
Don’t let moderate periodontitis take a toll on your oral health and quality of life. If you’re experiencing symptoms of gum disease, such as bleeding gums, bad breath, or sensitivity, it’s time to seek professional help from a trusted dentist in Seattle. With a commitment to providing personalized care and utilizing the latest techniques, our dentist can create a customized treatment plan to address your unique needs and restore your gums’ health.
Don’t wait until it’s too late to seek treatment. Schedule an appointment today.