Tooth and Gum Disease

By: Juliet Cohen

Gum disease has also been linked to heart disease and strokes. Gum disease is a common dental problem that may result in tooth loss. Gum Disease is an infection in the gums surrounding the teeth. Gum disease is also one of the main causes of tooth loss among adults. There are two major stages of gum disease: Gingivitis and Periodontitis. Gingivitis and Periodontitis are the most common types of adult gum disease. Gums shrink with age, exposing the tooth to decay or infection. Gum disease involves the inflammation of the gums and then infection. Gum disease can usually be prevented by good and careful teeth cleaning and regular cleanings or scale and polishes with your dentist or hygienist. Decayed teeth, which hold bacteria that can spread throughout the body, also can make a child more susceptible to other problems, such as ear and sinus infections. Gum disease is a threat to your oral health. Gum disease begins with plaque, which is always forming on your teeth, without you even knowing it. Gingivitis and periodontitis are the two main stages of gum disease. People usually don't show signs of gum disease until they are in their 30s or 40s.

Men are more likely to have periodontal disease than women. Gum disease develops when plaque is allowed to build up along and under the gum line. The gums may be sore, bleed easily and appear puffy, soft and swollen. In the early stage of gingivitis, the gums can become red and swollen and bleed easily, often during toothbrushing. Bleeding, although not always a symptom of gingivitis, is a signal that your mouth is unhealthy and needs attention. The gums may be irritated, but the teeth are still firmly planted in their sockets. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that can usually be reversed with daily brushing and flossing, and regular cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist. This form of gum disease does not include any loss of bone and tissue that hold teeth in place. Acute ulcerative gingivitis, also known as Vincents disease or trench mouth, is due to a bacterial infection of the gums. Adult gum disease is usually not painful. It can progress slowly.

Tooth and Gum Disease. Treatment Tips

1. Curettage--a scraping away of the diseased gum tissue in the infected pocket.

2. Flap surgery--involves lifting back the gums and removing the tartar.

3. Bone grafts--used to replace bone destroyed by periodontitis.

4. Soft tissue grafts--reinforce thin gums or fill in places where gums have receded.

5. Guided tissue regeneration--stimulates bone and gum tissue growth.

6. Bone (osseous) surgery--smoothes shallow craters in the bone due to moderate and advanced bone loss.

7. Acute ulcerative gingivitis is very easily treated with a three day course of the antibiotic metronidazole, and rarely returns.

8. Tartar will be scaled off both above and under the gums and under the gums by a dental professional.

Dental Surgery
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