What is pyorrhea and how can it be treated?


Pyorrhea is a severe condition of periodontal disease in which the ligaments and bones that support the teeth become inflamed and infected. It is the result of advanced gingivitis. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that causes redness and swelling of the gingiva, the part of the gum around the base of the patient’s teeth.

After the inflammation, the gum is gradually drawn back from the tooth cervix, followed by tooth loss. Pyorrhea is a dangerous disease because it does not produce any noticeable symptoms for a long time.

Gingivitis, that can lead to pyorrhea

Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gum tissue around the teeth. It is often painless. The main signs of the disease are red, swollen and bleeding gums, bad taste and unpleasant breath. Bad mouth hygiene, bad brushing techniques (accumulation of plaque) and smoking are playing a major role in its development. In some cases, hormonal changes, certain types of diseases (leukemia, diabetes), medications, and genetic predisposition are also associated with the development of gingivitis. Untreated inflammation can cause periodontitis, which is a more severe inflammation. At the final stage of the disease, pyorrhea occurs which can lead to tooth loss.

What can cause pyorrhea?

Patients are often ignoring the development of the disease because it doesn’t cause pain for a long time. In most cases, they think that bleeding gums are the result of strong brushing. The main causes of pyorrhea are poor oral hygiene, bad brushing technique, vitamin C and vitamin D deficiencies, and mineral deficiency that weaken the immune system. Other risk factors for the disease can be certain types of cardiac medications and genetic predisposition.

How can pyorrhea be treated?

  • Regular scaling and polishing is necessary to remove hard tartar, trapped food, and plaque, which can cause tooth decay and gum disease. The gum may bleed during treatment or may be sensitive for several days after the procedure.
  • It is very important to learn and apply the proper brushing techniques at least twice a day. Flossing also helps to remove plaque from those areas where a toothbrush doesn’t completely reach.
  • In more severe cases, further conservative treatment and surgery is required.
  • In case of moving teeth, replacement of the missing bone tissue (Guided Tissue Regeneration) and crown can be the proper solution.

How to prevent pyorrhea?

Brushing the teeth by applying the appropriate technique - brushing the gums towards the teeth and only in this direction - after each meal if possible and the use of dental floss (to remove dental plaque from hard-to-reach places) and a mouthwash are essential. Regular dental check-ups (recommended in every 6 months) also help to prevent pyorrhea effectively.