Topic
Gum Disease
Created by udent on 2/2/2008 12:00:00 AM

Gum disease is an inflammatory disease that attacks the gums, bone and other supporting structures causing loss of teeth. Gum disease is caused by plaque, a sticky colorless film of bacteria that continuously forming on the teeth.


What is gum disease?

 Gum disease is an inflammatory disease that attacks the gums, bone and other supporting structures causing loss of teeth. Gum disease is caused by plaque, a sticky colorless film of bacteria that continuously forming on the teeth. Plaque contains potentially harmful bacteria. Plaque irritates the gums, causing them to become red, tender and swollen. It causes the gums to bleed easily, a condition called gingivitis. Also, your body defends itself against bacteria by producing increased level of enzymes which begin to break down tooth and gum tissue. Eventually, the tissue that attaches the gums to the teeth is destroyed by the irritants in plaque. The gums pull away from the teeth and small pockets form between the teeth and gums. These pockets become filled with more plaque. Eventually, the jawbone supporting the teeth is destroyed, a condition called periodontitis.

Periodontal disease is usually a slow, painless, and progressive disease. Most adults with gum disease are unaware that they have it. If diagnosed early the teeth can be saved.

Other contributing factors.

In addition to plaque, a number of factors cause gum disease including:

  • Physical and chemical irritants - impacted food, smoking, chewing tobacco, excessive alcohol consumption, improper use of dental floss and toothpicks.
  • Oral conditions or habits that cause abnormal stress on mouth tissues - badly aligned teeth, poor fitting bridges or partial dentures and defective fillings; also habits such as grinding, clenching the teeth and chewing ice.
  • Unbalanced diet - evidence shows a link between nutritional deficiency and the body's ability to fight off infection. Vitamin C deficiency has been linked to gum disease.
  • Pregnancy - increased hormone levels may aggravate a condition commonly referred to as 'pregnancy gingivitis.'
  • Diseases - diabetes, uremia, liver cirrhosis, anemia and leukemia may affect the health of your gums.
  • Certain medications - oral contraceptives, antiepilepsy drugs, steroids and cancer therapy drugs may also affect the gums.

What are the signs?



  • Gums that bleed during brushing and flossing.
  • Red, puffy and tender gums.
  • Gums that have receded or seperated from the teeth.
  • Pain when chewing.
  • Calculus or tartar build up.
  • Teeth that seem loose or that change position.
  • Changes in your bite.
  • Changes in the way your partial dentures fit.
  • Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth.
  • Teeth that are overly sensitive to hot and cold.

       

Treatment.



  • Scaling and root planing removes the tartar and the soft tissue lining the periodontal pocket. This helps eliminate the inflammation and reduce the pockets and restore gingival health.
  • Gingivectomy is the surgical removal of the soft tissue wall of a pocket to eliminate the depth of the pocket.
  • Flap surgery allows access to the root of the tooth for removal of calculus, plaque and diseased tissue. The gum is then sutured back into place.

Helpful Tips:

  • Practice appropriate home care such as brushing and flossing at least twice a day.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet.
  • Examine your mouth routinely for any early signs of gum disease or other oral changes.
  • Visit your dentist at least twice a year for a thorough cleaning and oral examination.
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Nice comprehensive information , could you please tell something about interdental bone loss treatment & prognosis factors. thanks!
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By Anonymous on 12/23/2008 5:34:14 AM Like:-1 DisLike:-1
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