Overview: Gum diseases are also known as Periodontitis which deals with gum infections, treatments, and surgeries. It is all about the gums and the tissues that surround the teeth. If the initial stage of gum infection is not treated on time it may lead to severe infections and bone loss as well.
What is Periodontics?
Periodontics is the branch of dentistry that deals with the structures that support and surround the teeth.
What is meant by Periodontitis?
Periodontitis is the state of the mouth where the bacteria has already affected most of the gums and the gum line inside the mouth. It also affects the v-shaped crevice know as sulcus which is present between the teeth and the gum which may lead to the weakening of gums.
What is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is gum inflammation caused due to bacterial infection of gums. It affects the grip of the gums which causes an injury to the soft tissues and results in tooth loss. Gingivitis caused redness and swelling of the gums that bleed easily when flossed or brushed. It is a warning period before the infection becomes worse and leads to Periodontitis.
Gingivitis and Periodontitis are the two main gum diseases that lead to loose gums and tooth and bone loss, if not treated in time.
What are the symptoms of Gum Diseases?
Gums are the base of the oral cavity which holds teeth tight and intact in the place. It is necessary that for good oral health the gums are healthy and taken care of properly.
These are a few symptoms that could indicate that gums are unhealthy and need a check-up:
- Redness and swollen gums
- Tooth pain
- Mouth odour or Bad Breathe
- Pus formation
- Loose tooth
- Gum shrinkage
- Teeth sensitivity
- A change while biting, the fitting of the teeth is different than the previous time
What could be the probable causes of Gum Diseases?
As we all know that our oral cavity is a home for thousands of bacteria that are continuously under reaction. As it is the pathway for all whatever we take into our body it is necessary that hygiene is to be maintained properly.
Following are the probable reasons for Gum Diseases:
- Intake of tobacco
- Crooked or congested tooth structure
- Hormonal changes during puberty, pregnancy or menopause
- Poor saliva production
- Drugs intake
At times, Gum Diseases could be a reaction to some of the diseases like cancer, HIV Aids, and Leukemia.
How Gum Disease is diagnosed?
Gum disease can be diagnosed by examining the gums if there is any inflammation. The doctor may ask for medical history or family history to make sure where it is hereditary or not. The doctor may use a probe to measure the depth of the pockets which should be between 1-3mm.
In case the gum disease has prolonged and has turned into periodontitis then the doctor may take an X-Ray to see if there is any bone loss or not.
What are the preventive measures for Gum Diseases?
Following the basic oral hygiene could help in avoiding gum diseases:
- Brushing twice a day
- Changing the brush once in every 3 months
- In case the gums are sensitive, it is advised to use soft bristles
- Flossing teeth daily
- Using an electric toothbrush could help in removing the plaque and tartar effectively
- Avoiding tobacco and smoking
- A regular check-up with a dentist
What are the treatments for Gum Diseases?
There are both surgical and non-surgical methods to treat Gum Diseases, however, it is on the dentist and the condition of the gums which decides which could be suitable for the patient.
Following are the non-surgical methods:
- Scaling: Scaling is scraping off the plaque from the teeth or under the gums. The procedure is carried out by using instruments, lasers, or ultrasonic devices.
- Root planing: It is non-surgical periodontal therapy that involves deep cleaning of the teeth and roots by removing the plaque or tartar formation and then reattaching the gum to the tooth surface after the procedure is carried out.
- Antibiotics: Oral antibiotics could be prescribed in order to lessen or control the bacterial reactions inside the mouth. Anti-bacterial mouth rinses could also be prescribed to deep cleanse the oral cavity into the roots and the pockets.
Following are the surgical methods:
In the case of periodontal diseases for the treatment of some surgery might be required.
- Flap Surgery: It is the pocket reduction therapy in which the doctor makes a few incisions so that the roots can be exposed and scaling and root planing can be performed to clean them and to ensure that there is no bone loss. The gum is then sutured back. After healing the patient can clean it properly.
- Tissue-stimulating Proteins: A special gel is applied to the defected tooth which helps in developing tooth enamel and stimulates the growth of bone. The gel has the proteins which help in the proper growth of the tooth and bone.
- Bone grafting: When periodontitis has destroyed the bone, then bone grafting is done. It is the procedure in which the patient’s own bone or donated bone or synthetic bone is affixed in the place in order to provide a platform for the tooth to grow. It at times helps in the growth of the original bone as well.
- Soft tissue grafting: When the gum line recedes, soft tissue grafting is done. A small part of the tissue from the upper palate is scraped and affixed on the affected area. This helps in covering the exposed roots and gives a better appearance.
- Tissue Regeneration: A biocompatible fabric is fixed or placed between the bone and the tooth which helps in the growth of the affected bone. This prevents the interference of unwanted tissue in the healing area.
If these symptoms and signs show it is always advised to visit the dentist for the better confirmation of the situation and treatment as well!