The Australian Academy of Periodontology estimates that around 3 out of every 4 Australians suffer from some type/form of gum disease. This can range from mild cases of gingivitis to more severe cases that are known as periodontitis. With that being said, only around 3% of these people actively seek treatment and help for their gum disease problems.
With increasing amount of research being done on the subject detailing that gum disease may lead to more life-threatening diseases including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, maintaining gums and healthy teeth has never been more important.
What is periodontal disease?
Diseases of the gums and the bone of the teeth are known as periodontal diseases. Gum diseases encompass a wide array of conditions, most common being periodontitis and gingivitis. But what is periodontal disease really? Well, in a simple definition, a periodontal disease is a bacterial infection that affects the bone supporting the teeth and the gums as well. This disease kicks in when the plaque on the teeth leads to gum inflammation.
Plaque is the sticky layer that forms on teeth, and it acts like glue that helps bacteria to stay on the teeth. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that is easily reversible through proper dental hygiene and professional dental cleaning. Well, good dental hygiene is not something that individuals know automatically.
Benefits of brushing
Most of us need to be educated about the benefits of brushing and taking care of the oral cavity. I believe that even those who carry out dental cavity maintenance can still benefit from some coaching. This post will provide some educational information in regards to periodontal diseases so, don’t get bored!
Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease but if not attended to, it can advance to periodontitis. This basically happens when the plaque goes below the patient’s gum line. The toxins in the plaque cause irritation in the gums and this triggers and immune response. This reaction is what causes the gum and the bone supporting the teeth to break and weather.
When the bone is destroyed, the space between the teeth and the gums starts to deepen, giving the disease a chance to progress at a much faster rate and a higher destruction scope. The early stages of this disease are so mild that most people fail to realise the development of a serious condition.
Common symptoms of gum diseases
The most common signs of gum diseases include:
- Bleeding gums
- Swollen and tender gums
- Bad breath that does not seem to go away
- Change in the teeth’s position
- Shrinking gums and
- Pus around the teeth
Even though bacterial plaque is the primary cause of periodontal disease, there are other factors that contribute to the growth of the disease. Tobacco is among them. According to research, smokers have a higher risk of getting gum diseases, and it’s harder to reverse the condition while still smoking. At worst, smoking can lead to the development of oral cancer.
So, you might want to reconsider smoking tobacco. Other contributing factors are diabetes, poor nutrition, stress, grinding teeth, medications and family history. The risk factors that increase the chances of getting gum disease have been known for a significant period now; however, studies have proved that gum disease is ideally a risk factor for other conditions.
According to recent research, root planing and scaling lead to an 84% demise in premature births in females who were pregnant for less than 35 weeks.
Bleeding Gums Are Not Normal
A lot of people might assume that red and swollen gums are an not that important and that it is normal. However, the truth is, it is one of the most important signs to pay attention to because it is usually one of the first signs of periodontal disease.
If you happen to notice bleeding in your mouth whenever you are either brushing or flossing your teeth or when you eat certain kinds of foods, you will want to schedule a visit with your chosen dental professional in order to be evaluated as soon as possible. Studies have actually shown that while it can contribute to tooth loss, it can also cause other kinds of diseases, as well.
You Need to Floss Every Single Day
A lot of people also might think that you do not need to floss every day. The truth is, routine oral care is important and this includes brushing after every single meal that you eat and before you go to bed. Also, it means flossing at least one time per day to get everything out from under your gums. This is the best way to prevent gum disease from becoming a problem.
However, a recent study has indicated that only around 13% of Australians floss every single day. As you can tell, this number is staggeringly low. Therefore, it is extremely important that you keep up with your daily oral care and see a dental professional in order to get a check-up a minimum of 2 times per year in order to really ensure that your teeth and gums are as healthy as possible.
It Isn’t Always A Result Of Poor Oral Hygiene
A lot of people might also be under the impression that poor oral hygiene is the only way that you are going to be susceptible to gum disease. Whereas, the truth is, it isn’t. While having poor oral hygiene can cause and contribute to the progression of all kinds of gum disease, there are a bunch of other factors that can play into it and increase your risk of developing it. For example, tobacco use has been shown to significantly increase your overall chance of developing gum disease. Other factors include stress, poor diet, and genetics. In order to effectively determine your risk of developing gum disease, you are going to want to speak to a professional in the field.
Be sure to go to the dentist as often as possible and keep up with your dental hygiene. While it is not always going to be the major contributing factor as other things can have a huge impact, it is going to be one of the primary reasons for developing it. Be sure to floss every single day and brush after every meal. By doing this, you should be able to position yourself better to achieving optimal dental health and you should effectively free yourself from increasing the chances of developing this kind of disease.
It is not easy to live with gum disease, so try to nip the problem before it becomes even worse. If you are experiencing any kind of bleeding in your gums and/or teeth while brushing or eating, be sure to speak to a professional as soon as you possibly can. That way, you are able to identify it and treat it effectively as soon as you can.
How do you treat periodontal disease?
Root planing and scaling is a procedure used to clean teeth above and below the gum line and does not pose a risk to the mother or the unborn baby. Keep in mind that premature birth is a problem in Australia with over 10% of the babies being born prematurely, usually, 37 weeks early. Preterm birth has lead to increased death and long lasting problems for the children.
So, to avoid this terrible pregnancy complication, women should take a gum and tooth examination. For those who are already pregnant and gum disease is detected, scaling and root planing is still an effective solution. However, the procedure should be done in the second trimester and no later. Gum disease treatment involves several modalities. The most common is obviously scaling and root planing.
This is to clean the soft and hard deposits found above and below the gum line. Ideally, the dentist can use antimicrobial agents that are placed in the space between the tooth and the gum to aid in fighting the bacteria as well as hasting the healing process.
Regular Mouth-Cleaning Is Not Enough
According to periodontists, there is still a huge possibility that adults develop periodontal diseases even with regular mouth-cleansing or teeth-brushing and flossing. So, it is best to set a regular appointment with a gum specialist to find out what treatment choices will be appropriate for you.
Periodontal disease requires surgery only when needed
It isn’t true that the only cure for gum disease is surgery so it’s also not true that a periodontist will always require their patients to undergo gum surgery. Gum specialists usually require surgery among patients with more severe cases of gum disease as they need advanced treatments. In particular situations, there are other treatment options that Don’t need surgery, like root scaling, regular gum cleansing for further monitoring and non-intrusive Perioscopy cure.
For individuals that periodontal disease has taken a toll on their teeth bone and gums significantly, various surgical treatments can help. Depending on the nature and severity of the disease, new gums and bone can be grafted to improve their condition. For people who have a severe level of this disease such that the supporting bone is no longer effective, dental implants are an ideal solution for the lost teeth.
Some treatments have cosmetic dentistry in mind
Some of the gum treatment procedures are more geared towards cosmetic dentistry. These procedures are usually known as oral plastic surgery. People with a gummy smile, or rather show too much gum when they smile; Gum reshaping can be of great help.
Individuals who have irregular gum lines or gum recession on the teeth can ideally be helped through gum tissue treatment procedures. Not only do these procedures have cosmetic benefit, but they help cover the exposed root surfaces, which are highly sensitive to hot food and cold beverages.
To conclude this post, modern and innovative medicine has helped people expect a longer life. Proper dental care or hygiene which involves keen attention to the condition of the gums is of paramount importance.
Regular gum and tooth check-ups can go a long way in preventing an array of conditions affecting the dental cavity. They also help us keep our teeth for a longer period in life. I hope that this information has made you smarter and has answered the question. What is periodontal disease? Stay healthy!