Our gums play an essential role in our overall oral health. Aside from having a shiny and robust tooth, our gum condition is vital in maintaining a healthy smile. Many people often disregard their gum health but little do they know that this can lead to severe concerns and diseases. Apical periodontitis, also known as periapical periodontitis, is one of the leading gum problems but most of us ignore the symptoms.
What Is Apical Periodontitis?
Apical periodontitis is a chronic disorder that characterises inflammation of the periodontium. The periodontium is the tissue that surrounds our teeth. As its name implies, it occurs on the apex of the tip of the tooth’s root.
What Are the Different Types of Apical Periodontitis?
There are two types:
Many people refer the asymptomatic periodontitis as chronic periodontitis. When a person has long-term apical periodontitis, it gradually develops and progresses without any symptoms. Because of this, the disorder is almost impossible to detect before it causes severe destruction among the tissue that surrounds the teeth.
As a response to the infection, a periapical granuloma starts to develop. Periapical granuloma refers to a localised mass that forms during chronic periodontitis. It is present within folds of the tissues and spreads within the surrounding area.
When a person has symptomatic apical periodontitis, they often experience intense discomfort and pain when chewing or biting down. Once the affected gum makes contact with its surrounding teeth, you will notice a sharp sting that is often unbearable. This type of periodontitis quickly develops and gets worse in a short period.
A periapical lesion affects the apex of the tooth’s surrounding tissues. It often associates with the inflammatory process of the non-vital bone. When these cells accumulate, it results in lesions, also known as a periapical abscess.
What Are the Causes of Apical Periodontitis?
Periodontitis occurs in conjunction with other dental problems. It often develops in cases of an untreated cavity or if the tooth’s pulp gets an infection. Aside from that, apical periodontitis can show up in the event of a dental injury and trauma.
The most common causes occur when a root canal treatment fails to eliminate infections. Sometimes, even with the most stringent procedures, persistent apical periodontitis can still happen. Because the root canal is a complex system containing nerves, it is a susceptible area. Microbial infection within the root canal space can lead to apical periodontitis that destroys the bones and teeth.
How Is Apical Periodontitis Detected?
Apical periodontitis is not easy to identify because symptoms do not usually appear. However, your dentist can detect early signs that may accompany periodontitis through regular dental exams and diagnostic tests. If you experience sudden discomfort and pain when you brush your teeth or bite and chew your food, please make sure to consult a dental professional as soon as possible. Immediate attention and early detection can help prevent the worsening of the condition.
Postponing your dental treatment can cost the appearance of your healthy smile. Prevent risking your oral health and consider going to an emergency dentist to address your dental needs as soon as possible.
Fortunately, today’s innovation and technological advancement lead to the discovery of apical radiographs. These radiographs can accurately detect signs of apical periodontitis. It is a critical piece of equipment necessary for diagnosing, treating, and assessing the periapical region. Currently, radiography is the only accepted reference standard for the radiological detection of gum disease.
Why Do You Need To Treat Apical Periodontitis?
Immediate treatment is critical regardless of the form of apical periodontitis. There are three main reasons why the attempt to cure apical periodontitis is essential. Experts suggest treatment of apical gum disease even in its asymptomatic degree because of the following:
1. It can help with pain control
Periodontitis can affect your root canal and cause widespread pain and discomfort. Immediate treatment can control and reduce the worsening of the condition and affecting your quality of life.
2. Prevention of the local spread of infection
Endodontic treatment for periapical gum disease can help complete the disinfection of your root canal. This technique helps maintain an aseptic environment on your tooth.
3. It can reduce association with systemic diseases
Since apical periodontitis happens in combination with other diseases, immediate detection and treatment can reduce the primary disease’s gravity.
How Do You Treat Apical Periodontitis?
If the assessment of your periapical radiology results shows a positive sign of apical gum disease, your dentist will likely refer you to a dental specialist. Endodontists are dentists who specialise in different conditions, infections, and tooth pain. They have the necessary training to help treat your apical periodontitis.
Root Canal Treatment
A root canal treatment is necessary to control the inflammation of your gums. This procedure involves the process of removing the infected tissues from the tooth’s pulp. It also minimises and prevents the spread of bacteria.
An infection that grows deeper within the root canal requires apicoectomy. In this procedure, your dentist will perform invasive techniques to remove the tip of your tooth’s root and the infected tissue. After the removal process, the dentist will place dental fillings to seal the end of your tooth’s root.
Wrapping It Up
With proper oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist, you can protect your gums from the harsh effects of apical periodontitis. If you happen to notice any pain and swelling, you must immediately schedule an appointment and talk to your dental care provider about your concerns.