Everything You Need To Know About Gum Therapy And Gum Disease

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Gum disease often referred to as periodontal disease is a condition caused due to the irritation and swelling of the gums by bacterial toxins.

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Everything You Need To Know About Gum Therapy And Gum Disease Gum disease often referred to as periodontal disease is a condition caused due to the irritation and swelling of the gums by bacterial toxins. One of the foremost reasons people remain unaware of its existence is due to the fact the condition does not cause any discomfort or pain. The subsequent effect can cause loss of the bone that supports the teeth. If left unattended it can even lead to tooth loss. This condition affects people across all ages and more than 90 percent adults in India fall to this condition Journal of international society of Preventive and Community Dentistry 2016 Vol6 P91-96. Regular visits to your dentist will help identify and treat such conditions and it is possible to reverse the condition in most of the cases. One of the major determinants of periodontal disease is a dental plaque. It is a sticky film comprising a mass of bacteria that continuously form on the surface of the teeth. These bacteria produce certain harmful toxins which can in turn cause irritation and inflammation of the gums. Healthy gum tissue hugs perfectly around each tooth. But inflamed gum tissue can pull away from the teeth and form spaces called pockets. These pockets get filled with more plaque bacteria thereby leading to an infection. Over time if these pockets are not treated the disease gets worse. A resulting consequence could cause the teeth to become mobile and fall out or will have to be removed. Tooth loss can be prevented by cleaning your teeth and gums every day. On brushing your teeth twice in a day and flossing daily any build-up of plaque is eradicated. If plaque stays on your teeth it hardens into a rough substance called calculus or tartar. Tartar can only be removed when teeth are cleaned at the dental clinic. The stages of Gum disease and respective treatment options: The earliest mildest and the initial form of Gum disease is known as Gingivitis. During this phase of the disease- the gums are often red tender swollen and bleed easily when you brush. However if detected early a disease in this stage can be reversed with the help of good oral hygiene practices and frequent professional cleaning by your dentist. The advanced form of the disease is called Periodontitis. It results in profuse swelling and redness in the tissues in and around the teeth. Ultimately it causes the tissue and bone to disintegrate. Two of the key parameters to check the status of the gums is the colour and firmness. Primarily the dentist will review these two aspects in the diagnosis of a gum disease. The tool being utilised is called a periodontal probe which measures the depth of the pockets between your teeth and gums. Very deep pockets are a sign of advanced periodontal disease. While visiting your dentist it is likely that some dental x-rays may be taken to measure the degree of bone supporting the teeth. This will also help give your dentist an idea on how your teeth are positioned. A remedial treatment for an advanced form of gum disease is often referred to as Gum Therapy/ Periodontal Therapy or Scaling and Root Planing. The most common and effective way to treat gum disease is by using Lasers. The procedure involves the dentist eliminating the plaque and tartar all the way through to the bottom of each pocket. After this the dentist will smoothen the root surface of the tooth. This will permit the gum tissue to heal and reattach to the tooth. From a timeline perspective this treatment can take up to two visits. Signs and symptoms to look for in gum diseases: If you notice any of these signs see your dentist: • Gums that bleed when you brush or floss. • Red swollen or tender gums. • Gums that have pulled away from your teeth • Bad breath that doesn’t go away. • Pus between your teeth and gums • Mobile teeth or spaces between teeth • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite. • A change in the fit of the partial dentures Steps to be taken for the healthy set of teeth and gums: Ensure to brush your teeth atleast twice a day preferably after food for a minimum 2-3 minutes. The small areas between the teeth are vulnerable to food and bacteria lodgement hence it should be cleaned either by flossing or with an inner-dental brush or a water flosser. Apart from this if any further help is required in controlling plaque dentists recommend using a germ-fighting toothpaste mouth rinse or other oral hygiene aids. A few points to bear in mind while maintaining healthy gums: • Eat a healthy diet for better general and oral health. • Avoid using tobacco in any form. • Drink alteast 4 litres of water a day. • Visit your dentist regularly for a routine check-up and professional cleaning. With regular dental visits your dentist can detect and treat periodontal disease in its early stage.

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