What is Periodontitis? Treatments, Signs, and Symptoms


Periodontitis is a gum disease that causes inflammation and damages the soft tissue and the bone supporting your tooth.

It is caused by microorganism’s bacteria that stick on the surface of your tooth. Its surrounding makes these bacteria to multiply.

Therefore, as the immune system in your body reacts, toxins are released which finally cause inflammation. If periodontitis remains untreated, it leads to tooth loss. It may also increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other related health problems.

The main causes of periodontal disease are the bacteria plaques that stick on the membrane of the surface of your teeth. Conversely, if the plague is not removed it can harden to form a tartar or calculus.



The symptoms and signs of periodontitis include:
Bright red or purple gums.
Inflamed gums and recurrent swelling in the gums.
Gums tend to be painful when are touched.
Receding gums, which make the teeth look longer.
Extra spaces appearing between the teeth.
Pus between the gums and teeth.
Bleeding when flossing or brushing teeth.
Bad breath or halitosis.
Teeth loss.
A metallic taste in the mouth.


The main objective of the treatment is to clean out the bacteria from the pockets around the teeth. It also prevents further destruction of tissue and bone. There are various methods of treatment that can be used, they include:

Good oral hygiene

It should be followed daily, even if your teeth and gums are in good condition to prevent further infection. Proper dental care should be maintained which involves brushing your teeth twice a day as well as flossing once a day.
If you have enough space between the teeth, interdental brush is highly recommended. You can also use soft-picks if the space between your teeth is smaller.

Equally, periodontitis is an inflammatory, chronic or long-term disease. Thus, if you don’t maintain good oral hygiene periodontitis might occur again.

It is imperative to remove all calculus and plague to restore your periodontal health. A professional healthcare will perform debridement and scaling to clean your gum line. This can be done using an ultrasonic device or hand tools to break up the calculus and plaque.
You are recommended to clean rough patches twice a year, but this also will depend on the accumulation of plaque on your teeth.


There are several available mouthwashes and other medications such as:
Prescription of an antimicrobial mouth rinse for example chlohexidine
It is used to mitigate bacteria when treating gum disease after surgery. You can use it as a regular mouth washer.

Antiseptic chip

This is a small piece of gelatin, which is filled with chlorhexidine. It reduces the periodontal pocket size and also controls bacteria. It is normally placed in the pockets after successful root planning. This medication slowly reseal over time.

Antibiotic microspheres

It contains small particles of minocycline. They are placed into pockets after root planning and scaling. They slowly release medication which is used to mitigate bacteria and minimize periodontal pocket size.

Antibiotic gel

Antibiotic gel contains doxycycline elements. It helps in shrinking periodontal pockets and controlling bacteria. It is also a slow-release medication which is placed in the pockets after root planning and scaling.

Oral antibiotics

They are available in tablet or capsule form and normally taken orally. Oral antibiotics are used for short term treatment of acute periodontal infection.

Enzyme suppressant

This preserves destructive enzymes in check with a low dose of doxycycline. Some enzymes might break down your gum tissue, but when you apply this medication, it delays the response of body enzymes. It can be taken orally and is used with root planning and scaling.

Advanced periodontitis

Surgical intervention may be required if non-surgical treatments are not effective. They include:

Flap surgery

The healthcare practitioner conducts flap surgery to remove tartars in deep pockets, or to reduce the pocket to enhance cleaning. The gums are lifted back and the calculus is removed.
The gums are then sutured back into place to fit closely the tooth. The gums will heal after surgery and fit tight around the tooth. However, the teeth might appear longer than before in some cases.

Bone and tissue grafts

This procedure assists in regenerating gum or bone tissue that has been destroyed. New synthetic or natural bone is placed where the bone was lost to promote its growth.

The dental practitioner may suggest a soft tissue graft. It involves taking tissue from another part of the mouth or use of synthetic material to cover the exposed tooth roots.

The major surgical procedure is known as Guided Tissue Regeneration (GTR). It uses a membrane as a barrier to enhance growth of new gum tissue and bone where they are lacking. It aims to repair defects and regenerate the tissue as a result of periodontitis.


You can stop the effects of periodontitis through regular checkups and practice of good oral hygiene. This is a part of treatment when an infection occurs.

  Disclaimer: All content on this website is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this website and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always consult with your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.