Periodontitis and its Consequences
Periodontitis refers to an inflammation of the gums and periodontium. The gums swell and bleed during brushing.
Later they become loose from the teeth, forming pockets which are colonised by bacteria. These can then enter the bloodstream more easily. The numerous bacterial putrefaction and decomposition products can lead to bad breath.
The underlying bone recedes. This can lead to tooth loss.
Usually poor oral hygiene is the main cause of periodontal disease.
Only after 48 hours does the presence of bacteria cause the inflammation reaction.
So if you brush your teeth twice a day it cannot happen.
The addition of dental floss to clean between the teeth is highly recommended.
Many are unaware that periodontitis may promote more diseases of the organism as a whole.
- It can lead to complications during pregnancy such as premature birth or an underweight newborn.
- Studies show that patients with periodontitis areat higher risk of heart attack or stroke.
- There is evidence that patients with a rheumatic disease have fewer symptoms after periodontitis treatment in the joints.
- Even with respiratory diseases such as chronic brochitis and asthma periodontal disease plays a not insignificant role.
- Stress leads to a weakening of the immune system whereby bacteria can better proliferate. As stress can also lead to increased hunger, consuming sweet snacks encourages bacteria to multiply, which in turn causes inflammation.
- But also patients after chemotherapy or who have to permanently take medication to suppress the immune system as with Morbus Crohn or multiple sclerosis, are subject to this automatism.
- In smokers reduced blood flow to the lungs also leads to reduced immune defence. Well over half periodontal disease sufferers are smokers.
- An untreated periodontitis can lead to early onset diabetes where there is a case of overweight at the same time or a family predisposition.
Inflammation generally leads to a distribution of antibacterial cells , which unfortunately reduces sensitivity to insulin which leads in turn to an increase in blood sugar levels. Consequence is blood sugar levels which are difficult to regulate.
This in turn alters the composition of oral flora and saliva and thus promotes the growth of bacteria. Thus the diabetic runs a threefold increased risk of developing periodontal disease.
Professional teeth cleaning and disinfection of the pockets more than just the once, form part of the basic treatment of periodontitis.
At the same time instruction and support in proper oral hygiene is a logical consequence.
If after professional dental cleaning and regular disinfection of the pockets the inflammation continues, a minor surgical procedure will be necessary, possibly with antbiotic support.
As periodontitis is a chronic disease, regular and life-long visits to the dentist are absolutely required.
Only then will there be a good chance of preserving the teeth and gums and avoiding complications.