We provide professional support in Periodontology (Gum Disease Diagnosis and Treatment).
GUM DISEASES (Periodontal Diseases)
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal diseases are infectious diseases which
affect the gums and supporting tissues. They are responsible for 70% of
tooth loss in adults. If diagnosed in its early stages, they can easily
and successfully treated.
The prevention and treatment of gum diseases
additionally allows for easier chewing and better digestion.
Periodontal diseases begin with the infection of the
gums (gingivitis). In other words, gingivitis is the beginning stage of
periodontal disease. In this stage, gums are haemorrhagic, red, and
larger in size. They may not cause too much discomfort in early
stages. If left untreated, the disease may progress to periodontitis and
cause irreversible damage to the alveolar bone supporting the teeth and
Periodontitis is the progressed state of periodontal
disease. Damage is done to both the alveolar bone as well as other
tissues that support the bone. A “periodontal gap” will develop between
the bone and gums, which facilitates the settling of infection and spread of
the disease. As the disease progresses, the teeth begin to wiggle, and
could lead to extraction.
What are the symptoms of gum disease?
Aside from these, periodontal disease may also
progress to later stages without any warning signs. Periodic dentist
visits are therefore very important.
What is the cause of gum disease?
The most important cause of gum disease
is the layer of sticky and colorless film that accumulates on the teeth, also
called “bacterial tooth plaque”. Removal of plaque through daily brushing
and flossing is a basic requirement for a healthy mouth. If plaque cannot
be effectively be removed from the teeth, it turns into an irregular surfaced
and permeable structure known as tartar. Harmful growth secreted by the
bacteria in plaque lead to irritation in the gums, thus facilitating the
progression of the bacteria to deeper tissues. As the disease progresses,
the gap deepens and bacteria move further in, eventually leading to damage in
the alveolar bone supporting the teeth. If the disease is left untreated,
the teeth will begin to wobble and may even require extraction.
How can gum disease be prevented?
The most important role in the prevention of periodontal
disease belongs to the patient. In order to maintain healthy teeth, daily
oral care procedures (brushing and flossing) are necessary to remove
plaque. Periodic visits to the dentist are equally important.
Daily oral care procedures minimize plaque formation,
but may not completely prevent it. Doctor assessment of areas unreachable
by brushing or flossing is important in terms of removing plaque and/or tartar.
What is the treatment for gum disease?
Treatment in the early stages of gum disease consists
of plaque and tartar removal and restoring of a healthy root surface.
This procedure eliminates the infection of the gums caused by bacteria and
irritants. This treatment is generally sufficient for the adaption of the
gum to the tooth and the shrinking of the gums, therefore eliminating the gap.
In most cases of early-stage gum disease, effective
daily oral care subsequent to tartar cleaning, removal of plaque, and
procurement of a healthy root surface. More advanced cases may require
surgical treatment. The purpose of this treatment is to clean the tartar
lodged in the deep periodontal gaps surrounding the teeth, the elimination of
gaps through shrinking, and establishing a more easily cleanable gum form.
Doctor visits following periodontal treatment are important in terms of
plaque control and removal of new tartar accumulation. It is important to
remember, however, that daily oral care is more effective than any procedure in
terms of sustaining oral health following periodontal treatment.