Statistics have shown that between 50 and 80 percent of American adults suffer from some extent of periodontal gum disease. Periodontal gum disease is caused by plaque build-up that causes inflammation of the gums. The symptoms include red, swollen, or bleeding gums; bad breath; painful chewing; sensitive teeth; and even tooth loss. With effective dental hygiene habits and regular visits to the dentist, this disease can be preceded or treated if discovered in its early stages. If it persists into its advanced stages, dental practices provide treatment to promote healthy gum tissues and prevent tooth loss.
Periodontal gum disease has many stages and forms depending on the severity and the time left untreated. The initial stage is gingivitis. In this stage, the gums are red in appearance and exhibit mild inflammation and soreness. If left untreated, gingivitis can develop into periodontitis in which the bone tissue begins to deteriorate as the gum separates from the tooth. In the advanced stages of periodontitis, the gum separates further from the tooth as the bone deteriorates even more, causing the tooth to become loose and eventually fall out. In fact, periodontal gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. It is important to see a dentist at the first signs so that it does not progress into advanced periodontitis.
The treatment for periodontal gum disease revolves around cleansing the crevice where the gum meets the tooth, called the sulcus. The sulcus becomes deeper with disease and dentists take action when they notice these gaps to restore the health of the gums and prevent losing the tooth. Dentists typically use scaling and root planning to treat infected areas. Scaling is the process of removing plaque from the tooth and root surfaces above and below the gum line and is generally followed up with the process of root planning or the smoothing of the root surfaces so the gums can heal. The final step of the treatment is oral irrigation in which water is shot into the sulcus to flush out germs and plaque. Some dentists may also use antibiotic therapy along with the treatment to reduce pain and the risk of infection.
It is important to see a dentist at the first signs of periodontal gum disease so that it does not progress into advanced periodontitis with a risk of tooth loss. Reliable dental practices can effectively treat it with scaling and root planning as well as with antibiotic therapy to further aid in the healing process. Practicing good dental hygiene habits is the best line of defense against gum disease and if it does occur, be sure to visit a dentist immediately.
It is not only the teeth that are part of dental surgery. Gum surgery falls under this as well. The purpose of your gums is to give shape and form to the contours of your mouth and provide as a frame for your teeth. Sometimes teeth may appear too long or too short, which is a clear sign of gum disease or recession. Many people opt for cosmetic surgery on their gums to keep their smile looking perfect.
There are only two types of cosmetic gum surgical procedures done; when gums are large (excessive gingival display) or when the gums are too small (gum recession). A "gummy smile" occurs when the teeth are too worn, or a long jawbone, or a short upper lip that causes the teeth to appear small and the gums appear large. A long tooth smile (excessive gingival display) is caused by receding gums, exposing the teeth, resulting in a weaker frame and teeth.
What types of surgery is needed for this? For excess gingival display, gum tissue is remodeled and / or removed to make it more proportioned with teeth. Lasers are the tool of choice for reshaping gums. If a laser is not enough, crown lengthening is done on the teeth as well. After the surgery, the patient is advised to gargle anti-bacterial rinse for two weeks to avoid infection.
Gum recession is when the gums have receded due to many factors. The procedure to fix it involves taking tissue from the roof of the mouth and grafting it on the part of the gums that need repair. The grafted tissue serves to strengthen the gums and teeth. Gums are sometimes lifted instead, covering the exposed teeth. Unlike excessive gingival display, gum recession poses some health risks. If the tooth is not covered by the gum tissue properly, it can become loose and be easily affected by hot and cold. The patient is also later prescribed anti-bacterial rinse for gargling. This also last for two weeks after the surgery.
This surgical procedure is mild and easily recoverable. The effects can also be noticed immediately. No matter how simple though, surgery always has risk. Most people will go through with the surgery though, since the risk is low and there are a lot of health and cosmetic improvements.[Top]
The most common Periodontal or gum diseases include Gingivitis and Periodontitis which although have no symptoms, can damage the bone and tooth. The periodontal disease become chronic as the bacterial infection affects the bone structure and the gums around the tooth.
Periodontal disease may directly affect just one tooth or more and starts when there is a constant accumulation of plaque. Over time, the plaque builds up especially when there is no regular brushing and flossing. The initial few symptoms that you may note is soft gums that tend to bleed easily during brushing, slight inflammation and grayish outline of the teeth where it joins the gum line.
The first stage of the gum disease is known as Gingivitis. It is the mildest form of periodontal diseases and does not have any discomfort. While gingivitis is caused by poor oral health, it is reversible and can be remedied with professional treatment and oral care. It is best to seek treatment as early as possible.
The other dental disorder, Periodontitis is the next stage of gingivitis. As the plaque spreads and grows, just below the gum line, the bacterial infestations release chemicals that irritate the gums, leading to inflammation. The chemicals kick-start an auto response of inflammation and the destruction of bone and tissues starts.
Spaces appear between the gums and the teeth which then became infected. As the oral disease progresses, the gaps increase and more of the tissue and bone are destroyed. However, the most alarming factor needs to be considered that there are virtually no or extremely mild symptoms and then, damage is higher as you tend to never reflect the amount of damage that is done. As it progresses, the teeth become loose and fall of on their own or require extraction.
Periodontitis has different forms which include:
Chronic Periodontitis It results in swelling in the teeth tissues, progressive attachments of the gum and results in bone loss. This is the most common stage of Periodontitis and is marked by recretion of the gums and pocket formations. It is mostly seen in adults and can affect any age. Although loss of the bone and structure is slow, teeth loss happens over time.
Aggressive peritonitis: It happens in individuals that are normally healthy but the key aspects to consider in this disease include rapid attachment loss, bone destruction and receding gums.
Systematic diseases: It is one of the forms of Periodontitis and often starts at a young age. Other health conditions such as diabetes, respiratory diseases and heart disease are the main cause of this form of Periodontitis.
Necrotizing periodontal disease This infection is characterized by necrosis of the periodontal ligament, gingivitis and alveolar bone. Individuals with malnutrition, HIV and immunosuppression have lesions that are commonly observed
However in case of loss of tooth, dental implants are the only solution. The dental treatments if taken at the right time can ensure that the decay and infections are treated. If you have bleeding gums or tooth is loose, it is time to seek an appointment with the dentist.[Top]