Gum (Periodontal) Diseases

A gum problem or disease is one aspect of oral health which has been dealt with rather casually .Gum problems need more attention for the mere fact that these gum infections are chronic and painless ,so the patient tends to ignore them to a large extent and by the time a patient actually comes in for dental help the condition is in an advanced and irreversible stage leading to tooth loss

The latest research shows that 92 % of us have calculus (tartar) in our mouths, and 3 out of every 4 has calculus beneath the gums, where it causes the most severe damage. Over 1/2 of the adults over the age of 35 are already in the early stages of periodontal disease. In fact, periodontal disease is the primary cause of tooth loss after the age of 35.

So take a quick look and evaluate your gum condition, to see if they are healthy enough.

This table summarizes the stages of gum (periodontal )disease progression and their associated signs and symptoms.

     

HEALTHY

* Coral pink color
* Gums hug teeth    tightly
* No bleeding
     

GINGIVITIS

* Bleeding while   brushing or during   probing
* Inflamed, sensitive   gums
* Possible bad   breath/taste
     

MILD PERIODONTITIS
* More pronounced   gingival bleeding,   swelling
* Gums may begin to   pull away from   teeth
* Bad breath/taste
* Pockets 3-4 mm   deep
     

MODERATE PERIODONTITIS

* Teeth may look   longer due to gum   recession
* Gum boils or   abscesses may  develop
* Bad breath, bad   taste
* Teeth may begin to   drift and show   spaces
* Pockets 4-6 mm   deep
     

ADVANCED PERIODONTITIS

* Teeth may become   mobile or loose
* Constant bad   breath and bad   taste
* Teeth sensitive due   to exposed roots
* Pockets > 6mm   deep
* Some teeth may be   extracted (pulled)
     

 

How Is It Treated?

If you have been diagnosed with periodontal disease, periodontal /gum surgery may be recommended. Surgery is indicated when non-surgical methods are not enough to stop the disease process.

Depending on how advanced your particular case is, treatment may involve any of the following:

Scaling and root planing: Scaling involves the removal of the plaque and calculus deposits on the tooth surfaces, while root planing is the smoothing of the root surfaces in order to promote reattachment of the gum tissue to the tooth.

 

Plaque and tartar (yellow or brown Hardened plaque) are scraped off the tooth's crown and roots.
After Scaling, the rough surfaces of the root are smoothed, providing a healthy surface for healing.

Flap/Osseous Therapy allows the periodontist to gain access to the root of the tooth for removal of plaque, calculus, and diseased tissue. The gum is then carefully sutured back into place. Flap therapy may sometimes be accompanied by minor osseous (bone) shaping or removal in order to ease tissue positioning, facilitate home care, and simplify your maintenance appointments.

The gum is lifted from the tooth and bone, and diseased tissue is removed. The uneven bone may also may be reshaped.
After surgery, the gum is repositioned and sutured in place.

What You Can Do...

Periodontal health begins at home. Together with the state-of-the-art treatment methods available today, you can be confident your teeth can be saved. But what can YOU do? Here are some tips for maintaining periodontal health at home:

  • Brush your teeth three times daily.
  • Floss your teeth at least once a day.
  • Eat good, well-balanced meals.
  • Avoid sticky, sugary snacks.
  • Examine you mouth for signs of periodontal disease regularly.
  • Visit your dentist for check-ups and cleanings at least twice a year.

Your dentist is the first line of defense and in the best position to detect the early signs of periodontal disease.

The objective of periodontal therapy is to prevent tooth loss.
 

Remember: it's not just your gums, it's your health.