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Gum Diseases

Periodontal diseases are mainly the result of infection and inflammation of the gums and bone that surround and support the teeth. In its early stage, called gingivitis, the gums can become swollen, red, and bleed. In its more serious form, called periodontitis, the gums may recede, bone may be lost, and the teeth may begin to loosen or even fall out. Periodontal disease mostly occurs in adults. Periodontal disease and dental caries are the two biggest threats to dental health.

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The following are warning signs for gum disease:

  • Persistent bad breath or bad taste
  • Red or swollen gums
    sensitive or bleeding gums
  • Pain in teeth when chewing
  • Sensitivity in teeth
  • Recession in gums
  • Any change you feel in the closing of your teeth when you bite
  • Any change in the fit of the prosthesis

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Risk factors

  • To smoke
  • Diabetes
    poor oral hygiene
  • Stress
    genetic diseases
    crooked teeth
  • Immunodeficiencies - eg,
  • AIDS
  • Fillings that have become problematic from your old dental treatments
  • Taking medications that cause dry mouth
  • Bridges that no longer fit properly
  • Female hormonal changes, such as pregnancy or oral contraceptive use

Precautions and Treatment Methods for Gum Diseases

Gingivitis can be controlled and treated with good oral hygiene and regular professional cleaning. More severe forms of periodontal disease can also be treated successfully but may require more extensive treatment. Such treatment may include deep cleaning of the root surfaces under the gingiva (curettage), medications prescribed for oral ingestion or placed directly under the gingiva, and sometimes corrective surgery.

To help prevent or control periodontal disease, the following are important:

Brush and floss daily to destroy bacteria that cause gum disease.
See a dentist at least once a year for checkups, or more often if you have any of the warning signs mentioned above.

What are the treatments for gum disease?

Gum disease treatment encompasses a wide variety of dental procedures. Healthcare professionals use these procedures to reduce infection in your mouth and rebuild tissue damaged by periodontal (gum) disease. Periodontists (gum specialists) usually perform these procedures. But general dentists sometimes treat milder gum disease.

Gum disease occurs when plaque and tartar build up on tooth surfaces. Your gums react to the bacteria in these irritants and become red, swollen and tender. Your gums may also bleed when you brush or floss.

The sooner you treat gum disease, the better your chances for long-term oral health. At its earliest stage (gingivitis), gum disease is reversible. But later stages (periodontitis) damage your gums and underlying bone. This causes cavities or periodontal pockets around your teeth, leading to more infections, loose teeth and even tooth loss.

Non-surgical gum disease treatments

People with early-stage gum disease, such as gingivitis or mild periodontitis, may benefit from nonsurgical treatments. Non-surgical treatments for gum disease include:

Tooth stone cleaning
It is a routine dental cleaning, as many people do twice a year. During this procedure, the dentist removes plaque and tartar from the tooth surfaces.

People with gingivitis (the first stage of gum disease) can usually reverse this at home with professional dental cleanings and improved oral hygiene. Depending on your particular situation, you may need to clean with your dentist more often to keep harmful bacteria at bay.

Scaling and rooting
A deep cleaning of teeth, scaling and root straightening reaches deep into your gum line to remove plaque and tartar from your root surfaces. In addition to thoroughly cleaning your teeth, your periodontist or dental hygienist will smooth out any rough spots on your roots. This helps prevent bacteria and plaque from re-adhering. Your periodontist will give you a local anesthetic to numb your gums and make you comfortable during this procedure.

antibiotic therapy
Your periodontist may use antibiotics as a stand-alone treatment or in combination with other procedures. Common antibiotics used to treat gum disease include products such as minocycline HCl (Arestin®) or chlorhexidine (PerioChip®). Your periodontist may place these medications in the space (periodontal pocket) between your gums and teeth.

Laser periodontal treatment
During this procedure, your periodontist uses a small laser to remove diseased tissue and kill bacteria under your gums. In some cases, providers recommend laser therapy as an alternative to traditional gum surgery. Unlike traditional gum surgery, laser treatment does not require incisions or stitches.

Surgical gum disease treatments

People with moderate to severe periodontal disease often require surgical intervention. Surgical treatments for gum disease include:

Pocket reduction operation (Flap operation)
During this procedure, your periodontist will make incisions along your gum line and then temporarily move your gums away from your teeth. This allows them to see the roots underneath. Next, they will remove tartar buildup and clean your root surfaces. In some cases, they can straighten and reshape areas of damaged bone, making it difficult for bacteria to hide and grow. Finally, they will reposition your gums and stitch them in place.

Bone Graft
A dental bone graft uses your own bone, donated bone or synthetic bone to rebuild areas damaged by gum disease. The graft acts as a scaffolding, holding up space until your body builds new bone. Periodontists often perform bone grafting in conjunction with pocket reduction surgery.

Free Gingival Graft (SDG)
A gum vaccine uses your own tissue or synthetic tissue to treat gum recession (when your gums recede from your teeth). Gum recession is a common symptom of periodontal disease.

During gum graft surgery, your periodontist places tissue in areas where your gums were receding and stitches it in place. If they use your own tissue, they take the graft from your palate.

guided tissue regeneration
Periodontal disease can cause spaces that form between your tooth root and your bone. During guided tissue regeneration, your periodontist places a membrane over the damaged area to prevent your gum tissue from growing where the bone should be. This gives your body time to rebuild the bone around your tooth. In most cases, periodontists place a bone graft during the same procedure to aid this process.

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