Periodontal Gum Disease
The presence of bacterial communities in dental plaque, a sticky film that constantly accumulates in the mouth, causes the two most frequent kinds of dental illness, caries (tooth decay) and periodontal disease (gum disease). While the acidic chemicals of plaque bacteria gradually degrade tooth structure in tooth decay, gum disease causes an inflammatory reaction in the periodontal tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth. Periodontal disease, if left untreated, can result in gingival pockets, gum recession, and a loss of alveolar bone, eventually leading to tooth loosening and loss.
Periodontal disease affects one out of every two persons in the United States aged 30 and up, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Furthermore, among those aged 65 and up, the percentage rises to over 70%. Periodontal disease is a critical public health concern since it is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults and has a rising link to systemic disorders like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, respiratory problems, and poor pregnancy outcomes.
Although poor oral hygiene, infrequent dental exams, and few, if any, professional tooth cleanings are the most common causes of gum disease, other variables can increase the risk. Genetic factors, smoking and tobacco use, dangerous dental practices, misaligned teeth, poor diet, stress, and the shifting hormones of pregnancy can all predispose a person to periodontal disease. Diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and HIV infection can all raise the risk of periodontal disease and make it worse. Furthermore, several drugs used to treat systemic disease might cause periodontal problems by generating adverse effects such as dry mouth (xerostomia) or gum enlargement.
Common Signs Of Gum Disease
Since so much of the course of periodontal disease is painless, affected people may be unaware that they have a condition that is damaging to their oral health as well as linked to greater systemic concerns.
The following are some of the indications and symptoms of gum disease to be aware of:
- Unusually inflamed gums
- Reddishness of the gums
- Gum recession and exposed tooth root surfaces
- Immense sensitivity to extreme temperatures (hot and cold)
- Foul breath and persistent bad taste in the mouth
- Loosening of teeth
- An alteration in the bite or the formation of new gaps between the teeth
- Modifications to existing partial dentures fit
- Discharge from the gums and teeth
- When biting or chewing food, there is a sharp or dull ache
While gum disease is a degenerative disorder, it can be reversed and oral health restored if caught early. The disease can be controlled later to slow its growth and avoid the worst outcomes.
Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, and it is caused by a buildup of dental plaque near the gum line. It is a very frequent condition that is characterized by bleeding after brushing or flossing. There is no evidence of bone loss or substantial periodontal pockets between the teeth and gums when gingivitis is present. Gingivitis can be effectively treated and reversed at home with a series of professional dental cleanings and a better oral hygiene regimen.
If gingivitis is allowed to grow, it can proceed to periodontitis, which is the following stage. Periodontitis causes tissue damage that extends beyond the gums, including the loss of the tooth’s collagen attachment to the surrounding bone, the formation of extensive periodontal pockets, and the loss of supporting alveolar bone. The connective tissue and bone that support the teeth in place begin to deteriorate at this point. Periodontitis will develop from mild to a severe loss of supporting tissue to full destruction of the alveolar bone around the teeth if not treated properly. To stop periodontal disease from progressing, more extensive operations are required. A series of deeper cleanings, including root planing and scaling, surgical operations to minimize pocket depth, bone or tissue grafts, laser dentistry techniques, or antimicrobial drugs, may be recommended by the dentist.
Periodontal disease prevention is by far the most effective method of treatment. Gum disease and its complications can be mainly avoided by following an effective brushing and flossing practice at home, leading a healthy lifestyle, and seeing the dentist for routine checkups and professional dental cleanings.