At Susquehanna Valley Dental Group in Middleburg, PA, one of the most serious dental conditions we encounter is periodontal disease. Periodontal disease, or periodontitis, is inflammation of the structures that surround and support teeth. These structures are mainly the gums and jawbones.
Periodontal disease happens when too much bacteria are present in the oral cavity that they start to cause inflammation. Without treatment, periodontal disease can result in bone and tooth loss. The integrity of the oral cavity relies on support from the jawbones and gums to keep everything in place. When they’re affected, teeth can start to fall off.
The diagnosis of periodontal disease is based on several factors. We start by interviewing and examining patients here at Susquehanna Valley Dental Group. During the interview, we’ll ask about risk factors that might have lead to the disease, and we’ll also ask about how the patient feels overall.
During the examination, we’ll assess the state of the oral cavity. Unfortunately, we can’t fully assess bone status through an exam, which is why we’ll probably order an x-ray. An x-ray can help us identify any bone loss so we can deal with it accordingly.
Diagnosing periodontal disease isn’t difficult, but we always encourage patients to come to us straight away if they suspect that something is wrong.
The reason we want people to hurry to the dentist when they feel that something is wrong is that treatment depends on the severity of the condition. A person who presents with early periodontitis will be easier to treat than someone who presents with late periodontitis.
Early disease can be treated using antibiotics to kill oral bacteria. Cleaning and removing plaque is another integral part of treatment.