Right off the bat, here’s the chief reason why you should travel to Thailand for your periodontal treatment needs: it’s much cheaper there compared to other countries, yet you won’t have to compromise on the quality of the periodontal treatment you receive. You need quality work when it comes to dealing with periodontal or gum disease (also known as periodontitis) because as it worsens, it can take all your teeth with it, loosening their roots and making the soft lining of your mouth swell because of the bacteria infesting it.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease progressively worsens and manifests itself through the inflammation of the gums or gingiva as well as degradation of the surrounding bone and tissue around the teeth. It starts first with gingivitis and turns into periodontitis as it worsens. It’s therefore important for you to address it.
Tooth loss is mostly caused by periodontal disease (about 80 percent of the population above 30 years of age may suffer from this condition) with varying severity from individual to individual. This is why it’s important to undergo periodontal treatment during the gingivitis stage of bleeding gums after simply brushing your teeth so that you won’t have to pay for even more expensive procedures down the line.
Forms and Stages of Periodontal Disease
There are multiple stages and forms of periodontal disease. If you’re dealing with any of these symptoms, you should get a checkup with your dentist ASAP. The sooner you get rid of your swelling gingiva or inflamed gum condition, the better your dental health will become. Don’t wait too long.
Then again, if it’s gotten quite bad, you can save on checkups, diagnosis, and proper treatment plans with the right Thailand dental tourism package. They’ll have internationally trained doctors available to give you the proper treatment plan for your unique dental case.
At any rate, without further ado, here are the different forms and stages of periodontal disease.
- Gingivitis: This is the mildest form of periodontitis. As the first stage of periodontal disease, it involves slight inflammation of the gingiva or gums. This is caused by not brushing regularly and letting plaque or film build up around your teeth, which feeds bacteria and can cause a bacterial infection from their waste products. Remember, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure every single time.
Symptoms of gingivitis involve the gums becoming tender, swollen, and red. You can also end up bleeding easily whenever you floss or brush. During this period, you can still reverse gingivitis so that it doesn’t progress to periodontitis. It’s best that you start early and avoid a lot of expensive dental work by stepping up your dental hygiene game. It’s better to form good teeth brushing habits than to pay a mint in dental treatments down the line when you’re older.
- Mild Periodontitis: By not dealing with gingivitis or the reversible form of periodontal disease, you could end up with periodontitis. This particular stage is characterized by the swelling spreading to your alveolar bone, which supports your teeth and keeps them rigidly anchored in place in your mouth. Without them, your teeth will loosen up and become mobile.
At this point, you’ll suffer from minor bone loss. Periodontal pockets can also form, that serve as food traps that further feed the bacteria causing your infection in the first place, resulting in a negative feedback loop of sorts. At this juncture, you should get a dental appointment to debride the infected parts of the tooth (one of many periodontal treatment options available).
- Severe Periodontitis: This is the point of no return. It’s around this time where you should look into getting a dental implant or denture because many of your teeth have loosened to the point of not being able to save them. This periodontal disease stage is known for symptoms like moderate to severe bone loss, moderate to deep pockets, and gingival or gum recession.
You’ll also be faced with visible fistulas or boils on your gums, increased dental mobility or teeth looseness, movement of teeth out of position (like they’re milk teeth that’s about to fall out), and deep pockets. Expect pus to develop too, since periodontal disease is essentially an infection. Your bone loss will continue and you might lose your teeth altogether unless you go through a periodontal treatment.
Gum Treatment and Periodontic Dentistry
As for periodontal or periodontic dentistry, it involves treatment of gum problems that become more drastic depending on the severity or stage of your periodontal disease (from gingivitis to periodontitis). It’s recommended that you don’t leave your gum disease untreated, because this condition can cause you to lose all your teeth, have receded gums, and halitosis (bad breath or an odiferous mouth).
With that said, here are the procedures available to you when it comes to periodontal disease treatment.
- Dental Hygiene: Brush your teeth every day and after every meal. This is your best bet when it comes to getting rid of film and plaque that could cause periodontal disease. You should also floss and gargle with mouthwash in order to keep your mouth clean and bacteria-free. The point here is to remove both the bacteria and the film left by the food that you eat so that your mouth won’t become a petri dish of biodiversity.
The toothbrush and the dental floss ensure that the food particles and film is scrubbed out of your teeth before they worsen and become plaque due to gingivitis, gum recession, and worsening periodontal food pockets that teem with bacteria. Meanwhile, mouthwash serves as an antiseptic solution against the germs themselves, killing them before they have the chance to multiply, spread, eat, and defecate acidic waste products.
- Prophylaxis or Teeth Cleaning: This is a more advanced type of cleaning that goes beyond daily brushing and flossing. It might be called for when brushing and flossing isn’t enough or you’ve neglected daily dental hygiene to the point where something more drastic must be done to avoid your developing gingivitis from worsening to severe periodontitis. It’s recommended that you undergo prophylaxis at least once every six months for maximum effect.
The periodontal treatment typically involves a more thorough version of tooth brushing and flossing done by a dental professional, dental instruments that pick out food particles that can’t be removed by simple brushing alone, stain removal for yellowing teeth just short of teeth whitening or bleaching (that’s a separate process altogether), treatment of developing halitosis, and identification of health issues (which ones of your teeth are developing caries or tartar, for example).
- Deep Cleaning and Root Planing: When dealing with plaque, tartar, and calculus (not the math subject), you need to take out the big guns. This particular periodontal treatment involves even deeper cleaning than prophylaxis by targeting beneath the gum line. This is done in quadrants to ensure efficient and complete cleanup every time. It involves scraping out dental plaque, calculus, and their byproducts. This could involve using sharp dental instruments or lasers.
These etiologic agents are the ones that cause inflammation. As for root planing, this involves cleaning beneath the gum line as well, but this time around the areas surrounding the teeth. This is your best bet when it comes to periodontitis and gingivitis treatment so that you won’t end up in the path of no return (wherein your best options left are extractions, denture fittings, and/or dental implantation surgery).
- Aesthetic Gingivectomy and Crown Lengthening Surgery: You can also solve your gum inflammation or infection through surgically removing the affected area. Gingivectomy is something you can use for gum line contouring. It’s also dependable when it comes to getting rid of infected parts of your gum or treatment of gummy smiles wherein you have more gum than tooth going on.
As for crown lengthening surgery, it’s something that’s done in order to cosmetically optimize the aesthetic look of your teeth with a new veneer or crown restoration. This goes hand-in-hand with gingivectomy in the sense that you’re getting new and better teeth in the process of fixing your gum swelling or recession, while at the same time saving your teeth from degradation by restoring them to full health with restorative appliances.
- Bone grafting or Bone Grafts: As for bone grafting or bone grafts, it’s the act of placing bone materials for deep pocket treatment within the gums or adding bone density after your periodontal disease has induced bone loss into your jaw after you’ve allowed the infection to fester for some time. This periodontal treatment can also be used during dental implant treatment for the sake of giving the stud or post more room to settle onto the tooth socket.
The denser your bone, the more solid the stud will be and the more natural your resulting crown placement will feel as a tooth or set of teeth. Bone grafting involves using fragments of your own bone from your jaw or elsewhere as well as synthetic or donated bone to replace the bone you’ve lost because of periodontal disease. The grafts ensure bone regrowth, which gives your teeth stability. This is for severe cases of periodontitis and there’s even a new related tech called tissue engineering that encourages your body to regenerate your tissue and bone at a boosted rate.
- Soft Tissue or Gingival Grafts: As for this periodontal treatment, it’s like the gingiva or gum version of bone grafting. This treatment involves reinforcing thin gums or filling in places where your gingiva has receded significantly. This procedure stitches and adds tissue to the affected area. It typically uses tissue from the roof of your mouth, tissue donated from other people, or tissue grown in a lab. It is essentially fighting against the gum recession by adding and stitching new gum grafts every time.
Gingival grafts intend to prevent increased or worsening gum recession. There are also cases where they cover up recession altogether. Needless to say, this type of gum restoration therapy should be done while at the same time addressing the gingival or periodontal infection that made the whole gum loss possible. Otherwise, you’re just treating the infection rather than the root cause, so you might be faced with gingiva recession in the future. Successful grafting needs constant progress checks and monitoring as well as coordinated oral discipline from the patient in question.
- Flap Surgery and Bone Surgery: This is the more advanced version of grafting for bone and tissue. It’s performed in the worst cases of periodontitis just short of requiring dentures and implants. It’s performed when all the bone supporting the teeth has been destroyed, so this procedure is needed to stimulate gums and bone tissue growth. It’s also typically done alongside flap surgery and involves putting a mesh-like fabric between gum and bone tissue.
This fabric keeps the gingiva tissue from growing into the area where the bone should be, resulting in connective tissue and bone to regrow in a healthy manner that supports your loosened teeth. As for bone surgery, it’s responsible for smoothening out shallow craters from moderate to severe bone loss. After flap surgery is done, the bone around the tooth is shaped to reduce the craters in order to keep bacteria from collecting and multiplying again.
The Appeal of Dental Tourism
In light of all the expensive periodontal treatment options available, it’s encouraging to know that you have yet another affordable alternative aside from the Affordable Care Act (which President Donald Trump and associates are on their way to abolish), dental insurance (that you privately pay premiums for or as provided by your place of employment), and outright out-of-pocket payments.
Usually, when you go outside of the U.S.A., Canada, the U.K., or Australia, it’s usually for the sake of business or pleasure. By going to Thailand for a cheaper yet international-grade periodontal operation, you can get both. The idea behind using dental tourism to save money from your periodontal treatment is indeed quite simple. You can have some vacation time in Thailand and its many oriental wonders while at the same time have your loose tooth fixed. It’s like hitting two birds with one stone, is it not?
Thantakit International Dental Center is Thailand’s longest established dental center. Situated in Bangkok, our clinic is renowned across the world as a destination for world-class dentistry, with most of our patients flying to us from Australia.
Please contact us today and get a FREE dental consultation.