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Periodontal disease

Gingival or periodontal disease (known as periodontitis) is an inflammation of the tissues surrounding the teeth and is the leading cause of tooth loss. Gingivitis is a bacterial infection of the mouth tissues and potential precursor to periodontal disease.

Once gingival disease has been installed, the toxins produced by bacteria triggers an immune response (defense) from the body releasing certain substances that damage the connective tissue of the teeth and the bone structure, destroying them and facilitating tooth loss.

Signs of Gum Disease

As gum disease progresses, the bone structure tends to destroy and withdraw, gums may also withdraw or not. In some stages, the tooth root is exposed, sometimes causing tooth sensitivity. In addition, pus can occur and between the gum and tooth and then between the tooth and bone can appear blanks (gum pockets or pouches of bone).

Since the withdrawal of the bone structure is not visible to the naked eye, and if it is allowed to pass unnoticed can contribute to tooth loss, it is important to see your dentist for examination and for the professional cleaning of the teeth, to detect early gum disease.

Here are some of the common signs of periodontal disease :

  • Unprovoked or provoked bleeding of the gums (during teeth brushing or in other situations)
  • Sensitive gums, red or swollen
  • Halitosis (bad smell of the mouth, sometimes after brushing)
  • Loosen teeth (mobile and / or misplaced)

Common causes of gum disease

There are several causes of gum disease, but each of them can be corrected and controlled. Causes of gum disease include:

  • poor dental hygiene: if plaque from the tooth surfaces is not removed through a daily routine of oral hygiene and regular professional cleaning the bacteria multiply and cause inflammation of the gums (gingivitis)
  • organic changes in the mouth: the changes that occur in the metabolism and hormones during pregnancy, puberty and the menopause may affect the organic balance of the mouth and the teeth may exhibit stronger gum disease
  • Some medical conditions: severe medical conditions detrimental to the body’s ability to produce sugars (such as diabetes or kidney disease) may contribute to the development of periodontal disease. In addition, studies have shown a link between some serious general diseases (including diabetes, heart disease and the cerebral hemorrhage) and gum disease. In some cases, the drugs used to treat these medical conditions can cause inflammation of the gums
  • Inhibitors of the saliva flow: certain drugs that create side effects in the mouth area or the dry mouth syndrome (xerostomia) may contribute to the reduction of protective saliva flow and eventually to the emergence of gum disease. Older people are more likely to suffer from dry mouth syndrome because of reduced saliva flow associated with aging
  • parafunctions: teeth grinding and clenching can damage the surrounding tissue supporting the teeth (gums, ligaments, bone) and may contribute to the installation of gum disease

Treatment for Gum Disease

There are a number of treatments available for those suffering from gum disease, each depending on the severity of the condition.

To determine the treatment that best suits your needs, your dentist or the periodontal specialist will assess the severity of injuries caused by periodontal disease to create a rigorous treatment plan. Dental hygiene assessment will determine if dental plaque (soft deposits on teeth) is removed daily.

Next, hard deposits (known as tartar) must be removed by a professional cleaning, and sometimes additional procedures consisting in smoothing (polishing) the roots and descaling in the supragingival and especially subgingival region. During these procedures, a local anesthetic can be given. Your doctor may use laser surgery and decide whether administration of antibiotics to destroy the bacteria in the blanks created in the gums (pouches) is needed, recommending a medicinal mouthwash used in dental hygiene consistently at home.

Advanced treatment for Gum Disease

  • Tissue Regeneration: if the bone has been damaged, your dentist may use a new technique called guided tissue regeneration, involving bone grafting to enhance the opportunities of bone regeneration. To strengthen gums soft tissue grafts can also be made. Guided tissue regeneration involves inserting a membrane to facilitate the regeneration of bone structure. This process is sometimes useful during periodontal surgery
  • Surgery to eliminate periodontal pockets (the gaps between the gums / bone and tooth): in some cases, surgical procedure could be part of a treatment plan designed to prevent tooth loss due to gum disease. Here are some surgical options
  • Laser Therapy: Laser therapy may also be used to reduce gaps; however, there is no evidence to support the idea that laser therapy can help restore damaged connective tissue due to gum disease, but it is certain that it reduces considerable the number of bacteria causing periodontal disease
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