Gum Disease Symptoms

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Gum Disease or Periodontitis is called the inflammation of the periodontium . The periodontal organ (periodontium) surrounds the part of the tooth inserted on the maxillary bone and keeps it tight to the bone. It is composed from 4 different kinds of tissue: gingival tissue, periodontal ligament, alveolar bone, cementium. Each of these components is important for the tooth’s stability in the oral cavity. If this inflammation is left untreated it can cause progressive loss of the alveolar bone which can lead to increased mobility of the teeth and subsequently the loss of the teeth.

Gum Disease

The cause of periodontitis – is the accumulation of dental plaque or tartar on the tooth’s surface associated with an aggressive immune response. Accumulation of the plaque may occur on all teeth due to poor hygiene or on one tooth due to incongruous fillings or crowns. Traumatic events on the tooth itself or the maxillary bone around it and some systemic disease can cause inflammation of the periodontium on one or more teeth, but the treatment in this case differs from the bacterial inflammation and we aren’t going to talk about it in this article.

Gum Disease Symptoms – In early stages of the disease it is called gingivitis, its only interests is the gingival tissue which:

• Is swollen
• Has a reddish color not the normal rose color of the healthy gingiva
• Bleeds when brushing or flossing your teeth
• No periodontal pocket are formed yet

Untreated gingivitis causes periodontitis with aggravation of the symptoms and the appearance of new ones.It also becomes an irreversible process:

• The bleeding happens with no cause
• Gum pain that sometimes is confused with teeth pain
• Periodontal pocket are formed by the loss of periodontal ligament, which makes it easier for the microorganisms to adhere on the root surface and also makes it harder to clean forming a vicious circle which leads to
• Loss of the alveolar bone causing loose teeth
• Halitosis or bad breath by the accumulation of food remains and bacteria on the periodontal pocket
• Increased tooth sensitivity due to the exposure of dentin or cement

Prevention- Proper oral hygiene at home is the only prevention for the periodontitis caused by dental plaque accumulation.

• Brushing at least twice a day using a soft brush, being careful to brush closely to the gum-line.
• Flossing daily and if periodontal pocket are already formed using interdental brushes.
• Using antiseptic mouthwash that contains Chlorexidine gluconate

Treatment – The goal is to reduce the inflammation. If the disease is only in the early stages with proper professional and domiciliar oral hygiene the process is reversible with no permanent damage on the periodontum. If the disease has progressed and periodontal pocket are formed it becomes irreversible and all you can do is preventing the disease from further damaging the periodontium. You will need to start a therapy in accordance with your dentist that may include dental hygiene appointments, scaling and root planing, gingivectomy to reduce the pocket’s depth, replacement of  unsuitable fillings, crowns etc…All this therapy will not reverse the state of the gums but will help stop and prevent the disease from making progress.

Complications – If left untreated periodontitis can complicate in other more serious diseases. Infection or abscess of the soft tissue or jaw bones might occur. Other complications are tooth displacement or tooth  loss. The most severe complication can be Acute Necrotizing Ulcerative Gingivitis that involves ulceration in the gums.

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