Periodontal Disease


Gum disease (PeriodontalDisease) is a chronic bacterial infection of the tissues that support and surround the tooth. Gum disease is the primary cause of tooth loss in adults. Three out of four adults from the age of 35 and up suffer to some degree from periodontal disease. About 90% of the population suffers from gum disease.
The cause of periodontal disease is bacterial plaque which produces endotoxins that damage the gums.

The clinical picture

 

The first stage of gum disease is Gingivitis. The gums are red, swollen and bleed easily. The gum surface, which normally looks like orange peel when healthy, changes to a shiny, smooth shade of red. This stage is completely reversible and can be treated by simply brushing the teeth and flossing. Gum disease often lies dormant for prolonged periods and therefore the patient may be unaware of its existence. Inadequate home care will cause continued damage of the gums and the tissues that support the tooth, eventually leading to tooth loss.

 Signs of gum disease


  • Gums tend to bleed easily when brushing teeth
  • Gums appear red, swollen, shiny and soft
  • Receding gums
  • Constant bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • Pus between the teeth and the gums
  • Less compatibility of crowns and bridges

 

 

 


 


Treatment

The treatment of gum disease depends on the stage of the disease. The first stage is to reduce the limescale and treat cavities. In rare cases, the patient’s teeth bite also needs treating. Antibiotic treatment or mouthwashes containing antibiotics help to remove the bacteria that create toxins. If there are pussy pockets in the gums, there is sometimes a need to apply antibiotic subtances to the pockets.

In more severe cases, it is necessary to surgically open the gums and separate them from the teeth in order to clean the swollen, pussy pockets and remove plaque and tarter from the roots (root planing) before sowing the gum back to the teeth. This procedure also involves scraping part of the dental cement on which food debris has settled.

If the gum disease spreads to the bone, the surgical procedure becomes more complicated and also involves removing focal infection from the bone, stabilizing the tooth and re-fixing it to the bone.

 

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