Gum disease is an inflammation of the gums that can progress to affect the bone that surrounds and supports your teeth.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is an inflammation of the gums that can progress to affect the bone that surrounds and supports your teeth. It is caused by the bacteria in plaque, a sticky colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth. If not removed through daily brushing and flossing, plaque can build up and the bacteria infect not only your gums and teeth, but eventually the gum tissue and bone that support the teeth. This can cause the tooth to become loose, fall out or have to be removed by a dentist.
Stages of Gum disease:
How do you know if you have a gum disease?
- Bad breath that won’t go away.
- Red or swollen gums.
- Tender or bleeding gums.
- Painful chewing.
- Loose teeth.
- Sensitive teeth.
- Receding gums or longer appearing teeth
- Abscess (pus oozing from the gums)
How do you keep your teeth healthy and strong?
- Brush twice a day
- Use fluoridated toothpaste
- Floss your teeth daily
- Limit sugary foods and acidic drinks
- Protect your teeth from injury
Treatments offered at Rajan Dental
- Deep scaling and root planing
- Painless Laser curettage and flap surgeries
All procedures are carried out by the periodontist (Gum specialist) in conjunction with a restorative dentist to achieve ideal functional as well as esthetic results
Who can get Gum Disease (Risk Factors)?
Plaque is the primary cause of periodontal disease, but some other factors can increase the risk and severity of gum disease. They are:
Smoking – It is one of the most significant risk factors associated with the development of gum diseases. Smoking can lower the chances of success in some treatments. The percentage of periodontitis in smokers is seven times more than in nonsmokers.
Hormonal changes in girls/women – Hormonal changes make gums sensitive and easier for gum diseases to develop.
Grinding teeth – Due to excess force on the teeth, the rate of destruction of the supporting tissues of the teeth increases.
Diabetes – Diabetic patients are at higher risk for developing periodontal disease because they are more prone to get infections.
Stress – Stress can lower down your body’s immune system to fight infection, including gum disease.
Medications – Some drugs like anti-depressants, anti-convulsion and some anti-angina medicines, reduces the amount of saliva flow and this can affect your oral health as saliva plays a protective role on teeth and gums.
Illnesses – Diseases that interfere with your immune system such as AIDS or cancer can also affect the oral health.
Genetic factor – Some individuals are more prone to get severe gum disease than others.
Signs and Symptoms
The symptoms of periodontal disease often are not obvious; but the condition is not entirely without warning signs. Few symptoms include:
- Tender, swollen, or red gums
- Gums bleed during and after tooth brushing
- Gum recession
- Bad odor / halitosis or bad taste in the mouth
- Food impaction in areas of deep pockets formed between teeth and gums
- Loosening and shifting of teeth, or increase in spacing between teeth.
- Abscesses (pus oozing from the gums)
- Sensitivity or Pain in teeth due to exposure of the roots by gum disease
Some degree of gum diseases persists without any symptoms and some individuals have gum disease only around few teeth such as the back teeth, which they can’t see. Only a dentist or a periodontist can recognize and determine the sequence of gum disease.
The foremost goal of treatment of gum diseases is to control infection. The type of treatment varies, according to the extent of gum disease. Any type of treatment requires the patient to keep good daily oral hygiene at home. Moreover, modifying certain behaviors, such as quitting tobacco use, might also be recommended as a way to get better treatment results.
- Scaling and Root Planing : Professional cleaning means scraping off the tartar from above and below the gum line of teeth, and Root planing gets rid of irregular spots on the tooth root where the germs collect, and helps remove bacteria that contribute to the gum diseases.
- Oral Hygiene Instructions – proper brushing, flossing, inter-dental brushing.
- Medications – are used to destroy the microbes that cause Periodontitis or hold back the destruction of the tooth’s attachment to the bone. In some cases, a dentist will recommend a mouth rinse containing a chemical called chlorhexidine to help control plaque deposition. There are also antibiotic gels, fibers or chips, which are directly applied to the infected pocket.
- Splinting – for mobile teeth
- Coronoplasty – for correcting any traumatic bite
- Curettage – Scraping away of the diseased gum tissue in the infected pocket, this allows the infected area to heal and gums to become firmer.
- Periodontal flap surgery – Surgery might be needed if inflammation and deep pockets remain after treatment with deep cleaning and medications. The flap surgery involves lifting back the gums and removing the tartar deposited in deep pockets. The gums are then sewn back in place so that the tissue fits snugly around the tooth. This method reduces the pocket and areas where bacteria grow and make it easier for the patient to keep the area clean.
- Bone grafts – used to restore bone lost due to Periodontitis. Small fragments of your own bone, synthetic bone, or donated bone are placed where bone was lost. These grafts serve as a platform for the re-growth of bone, which stabilizes the teeth.
- GTR (Guided Tissue Regeneration) – It stimulates bone and gum tissue growth. In combination with flap surgery, a small piece of mesh-like fabric is inserted between the bone and gum tissue. This keeps the gum tissue from growing into the area where the bone should be, allowing the bone and connective tissue to re-grow and support the teeth. Bone grafts may or may not be used in combination.
- Soft tissue grafts– reinforce thin gums to fill the space where the gums have receded.
- Bone (Osseous) Surgery – it is smoothening of shallow craters in the bone due to moderate or severe bone loss. During the flap surgery, the bone around the tooth is reshaped to decrease the craters, this makes it difficult for bacteria to gather and grow.
- Gingivectomy/Gingivoplasty – To correct gum contour