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Teeth are meant to last a lifetime. Periodontal disease (previously known as Pyorrhea) is a major cause of tooth loss in our population. Most of the time, periodontal disease is preventable.
The teeth remain embedded in jawbone which is covered from outside by gums. Healthy gums are coral pink in colour. They remain firmly attached to the underlying bone. Healthy gum can be identified by thin margins firmly adapting over the respective tooth and it does not bleed easily.
Gum problems can be divided into two stages:
As mentioned earlier, normal gums are coral pink in colour with the edges firmly attached around the tooth, and does not bleed on normal brushing. The earliest sign of gum inflammation is bleeding from the margins of gums during brushing, without any pain. The margins of gums appear red. If proper brushing is not done, the disease may progress deep inside the gums. They may swell, become soft and bleed even on slightest touch, The bleeding may even occur spontaneously. Even at this late stage, the condition maybe painless. This condition is known is Gingivitis.
If not treated, the disease may progress to involve the surrounding bone, leading to pocket formation around the tooth. Now the disease is called periodontitis or pyorrhea. At this stage, the patient may complain of bleeding, itching sensation and dull constant ache in gums, increased hot and cold sensitivity, food impaction, and even loose teeth. There may be bad odour from the mouth, migration of teeth and exposed root surfaces. Some people may have the urge to dig deep in between the teeth to get relief from the dull ache. All these symptoms suggest that quick attention and professional help is required. If the disease is not treated, ultimately it may result in loss of teeth one after the other. Periodontal disease is the most important cause of tooth loss in our country.For this job your periodontist can help you.
Periodontics is the study of clinical aspects of the supporting structures of the teeth (i.e the periodontium), which includes the gingiva (gums), alveolar bone (jaw), root cementum, and the periodontal ligament. The word comes from the Greek words peri meaning around and odons meaning tooth. Literally taken, it means study of that which is "around the tooth".
A periodontist is a dentist that specialises in treating diseases of the periodontium. Periodontist training requires an additional 3years of training after obtaining a dental degree (B.D.S) And we are having Dr.Rahul Bhandary to take care of your gums.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION
- Q: What is gum disease?
- Q: Who gets periodontitis?
- Q: What causes periodontal disease?
- Q: What are some of the warning signs of periodontal disease?
- Q: What are the most common forms of periodontal disease?
- Q: What can you do?
- Q: Can gum disease be treated successfully?
- Q: Why sometimes we have to face the problem of bad breath?
- Q: Can dentist treat this problem?
Still have questions?
Ask us for more information.
Q: What is gum disease?
A: "Gum disease" describes a range of conditions that affect the supporting tissues for the teeth. The supporting tissues comprise both the surface tissues that can be seen in the mouth and also the deeper tissues of the bone, root surface and the ligament that connects the teeth to the bone.
Q: Who gets periodontitis?
A: Anyone. Many people will have a small amount of periodontitis, which gradually increases with age. However approximately 15% of the population will have a significant degree of periodontitis. The destruction of the tooth's supporting tissues caused by periodontitis gets worse over time when left untreated, and is often seen more severely in the 45+ age group. However the different types of periodontitis may affect people of all ages.
The risk for periodontitis is increased with poor oral hygiene, smoking, diabetes, a family history of periodontitis and a range of medical conditions, in particular those affecting the immune system.
Q: What causes periodontal disease?
A: Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria. Bacteria form a ‘plaque’ which is a sticky, colourless film that forms on your teeth, particularly around the gum line. Other bacteria thrive deep in the gap between the gum and the tooth (the ‘pocket’). Some people are much more at risk of developing periodontal disease - smoking is one of the major risk factors. Other conditions such as diabetes, stress, pregnancy and various medications can all be the contributing factors.
Q: What are some of the warning signs of periodontal disease?
- Bleeding gums when you brush your teeth.
- Bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth.
- Receding gums.
- Sensitive teeth or gums.
- Loose teeth or teeth that have moved.
Q: What are Removable Partial Denture?
A: Removable Partial Denture (RPD) is least used. It is an easy and cheap replacement of missing tooth.
It is of two type :
- Cast Partial (Metal base)
Q: What are the most common forms of periodontal disease?
A: Infection affecting the surface tissues is called Gingivitis. This may progress to affect the deeper supporting tissues and is called Periodontitis (previously called pyorrhea). The effects of gingivitis are largely reversible with appropriate care. Once this has progressed to periodontitis there is permanent damage to the ligament and bone that supports and holds the teeth. Often a space develops between the gum and the tooth called a pocket. The pocket forms a protected environment for more bacteria and the condition progresses. If left untreated periodontitis may cause abscesses and tooth loss.
Q: What can you do?
A: Visit your dentist, who will examine your gums as part of a normal dental check-up. X-rays are often needed to help diagnose any gum problems.
Good dental hygiene is one of the most important factors in preventing gum disease. Your dentist will show you proper brushing and flossing techniques that will help ensure healthy teeth and gums.
You may need to be referred to a Periodontist who is a specialist in treating gum disease. Treatment involves careful, deep cleaning of the teeth to remove the cause of the problem. This can be done with local anaesthetic.
Q: Can gum disease be treated successfully?
A: Yes. In the vast majority of cases the progression of gum disease can be arrested with appropriate care. Management of gum disease becomes more difficult and less predictable the more advanced the disease. Therefore, the sooner periodontitis is diagnosed and treated the better. Regular dental examinations are important to check for the presence of gum disease.
The cause of gum disease is bacteria. To manage it, the bacteria must be reduced to a level the body's defense mechanisms can handle. Treatment classically involves:
- Achieving the best possible home care
- Professional cleaning of the teeth above and below the gum line (into the pockets) to remove the plaque and hard deposits (calculus / tartar), and
- Regular reviews
- Trying to remove risk factors such as smoking.
Gum disease causes permanent damage to the supporting tissues; therefore the aim of treatment is to stop the progression of the disease through controlling the bacteria. This is an ongoing, lifelong activity.
Your general dentist is trained in managing periodontal problems. They may also use a hygienist to assist in your care. You may be referred to a Periodontist if your dentist considers your condition needs more advanced care. A specialist periodontist has gained additional qualifications and experience to satisfy the requirements of the State Dental Board and may therefore use the title "Periodontist".
Prevention is best. To a large extent periodontitis can be prevented by good oral hygiene and early intervention when problems are identified. See your dentist regularly.
Q: Why sometimes we have to face the problem of bad breath?
A: Bad breath or halitosis can be a curse. But we now know that ninety percent of bad breath is caused by problems in the teeth and by gum disease. It is the bacteria that live on teeth, the gums and the tongue producing sulphur compounds that cause bad breath.
Bad breath can also be caused by wearing removable dentures, by faulty fillings and by crowded teeth. In fact any area in the mouth that is difficult to reach and therefore does not get properly cleaned will be harbouring halitosis causing organisms. Sometimes GIT problems can also leads to this problem.
Q: Can dentist treat this problem?
A: yes, it can be solved by treating the underlying cause of the problem. This means that by restoring the mouth to perfect health and cleanliness and with proper instruction about regular mouth hygiene, most cases of halitosis can be completely cured.
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