Gum Diseases (Periodontal Diseases)​

Periodontal or gum disease is a very common pathological condition in which the gums and the supporting surrounding structures of the teeth get inflamed. Periodontal disease is of high prevalence in adolescents, adults, and older people makes it a public health concern. Based on the most recent national oral health survey, only 18% of 16–24 years, 8% of 35–44 years, and 7% of people ageing 65 years and over have healthy gums with no form of periodontal disease.

Types Of Gum Disease

  • Gingivitis 
  • Periodontitis

Gingivitis

Definition – Inflammation of the gingival tissue at the necks of the teeth.
Features – Redness of the gum margins, swelling and bleeding while brushing.
Causes – Diabetes, smoking, aging, puberty, poor nutrition, genetic predisposition, systemic diseases, stress, hormonal fluctuations, pregnancy, HIV, and certain medications.
Treatment – Professional treatment and good oral hygiene practices.

Periodontitis

Definition – When untreated gingivitis affects the bone and supporting tissue, it is termed periodontitis.
Features – Formation of pockets or loose teeth, receding gums and gums.
Causes – Oral hygiene and genetic predisposition.
Treatment – Prevention is achieved with daily self-performed oral hygiene and professional cleaning on a regular basis.
New treatment modalities – Antimicrobial therapy, laser therapy and tissue engineering for tissue repair and regeneration.

Most common forms of periodontitis–

  • Aggressive periodontitis – Occur in people who are clinically healthy otherwise. Rapid attachment loss, bone destruction and familial aggregation.

  • Chronic periodontitis – Inflammation of the supporting tissues around the teeth. Pocket formation or recession of the gingiva, progressive attachment and bone loss. Most frequently occurring form of periodontitis. Prevalent in adults, also can occur in any age. Rapid progression can occur.

  • Periodontitis as a manifestation of systemic diseases – Begins at a young age. Associated with systemic conditions such as heart disease, respiratory disease, or diabetes.

  • Necrotizing periodontal disease – Necrosis of gingival tissues, periodontal ligament and alveolar bone. Most commonly in people with systemic conditions such as HIV infection, malnutrition and immunosuppression.

Treatment​

  1. Mild periodontitis – Scaling and root planing combined with good oral hygiene at home is enough for treatment.
  2. Moderate periodontitis – Scaling and root planing with surgical treatment if needed. Surgery can involve reshaping the gums to fit the teeth or encouraging lost bone to regrow.
  3.  Severe periodontitis – Surgical intervention and in some cases, antibiotics.

Prevention

       Luckily, periodontal disease is preventable if you add these habits to your daily routine.

  • Brush your teeth – Brushing after meals helps remove food debris and plaque trapped between your teeth and gums.
  • Floss – Flossing at least once a day helps remove food particles and plaque between teeth and along the gum line that your toothbrush cannot quite reach.
  • Swish with mouthwash – Using a mouthwash can help reduce plaque and can remove remaining food particles that brushing and flossing missed.
  • Know your risk – Age, smoking, diet and genetics can all increase your risk for periodontal disease. If you are at increased risk, be sure to talk with your dental professional.
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