Lets prevent periodontal disease.
The term "periodontal" literally means "around the tooth". Most people consider periodontal tissues to be the gum tissues that surround the teeth and the underlying jawbone that anchors the teeth firmly in place. Periodontal diseases are those diseases that affect one or more of these periodontal tissues.
The term “periodontics” refers to the dental specialty that pertains to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of periodontal diseases that affects the gums and jawbone. Periodontists have completed several years of extra dental training and are specialists in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease and in the placement of dental implants. Periodontists are familiar with the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating periodontal disease
Click Here for August, 2012 findings estimating the prevalence of periodontitis in the United States: The Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) recently published findings in the Journal of Dental
Research revealing the high prevalence rates of periodontal disease in the United
States of America. These findings indicate that one out of 2 American
adults over the age of 30 have periodontitis. This equates to
approximately 64.7 million American adults.
Public Health Agency of Canada:
Chronic Disease in Canada Volume 30, No. 4, 2010
While there are many different
diseases that affect the tooth supporting structures, plaque-induced inflammatory
lesions make up the vast majority of periodontal diseases and have
traditionally been divided into two categories, gingivitis or periodontitis.
They can affect one tooth or many teeth.
Gingivitis is a milder and
reversible form of periodontal disease that only affects the gums. In
many patients an inflammatory overreaction to the bacteria results in the body,
in essence, turning on itself and destroying the supporting tissues around
the teeth, including the bone. At this point the condition has progressed
to the more serious, destructive forms of periodontal disease called periodontitis.
The gums separate from the teeth, forming pockets (spaces between the teeth and
gums) that become infected. As the disease progresses, the pockets deepen
and more gum tissue and bone are destroyed. Often this destructive
process has very mild symptoms. Eventually, teeth can become loose and
may have to be removed.
More than one in three people
over the age of 30 have a form of periodontal disease that has advanced beyond
However, because periodontal disease develops silently
and painlessly, the majority of people do not even realize they have it.
Periodontitis is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults living in the
developed world, and should be taken very seriously for that reason; however,
accumulating research also links periodontal diseases to general health
conditions such as cardiovascular disease, stroke,
diabetes, respiratory disease, and preterm low birth weight babies.
The main cause of periodontal
diseases is bacterial plaque, a sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on
your teeth. However, factors like the following also affect your
- Smoking/tobacco use
- Puberty, pregnancy, and menopause in women
- Clenching or Grinding Your Teeth
- Poor Nutrition
Symptoms of periodontal
Because symptoms may not
occur until the disease is advanced, It is possible to have periodontal disease
and have no warning signs. This is one of the reasons why regular dental
checkups which include periodontal examinations are very important. When
warning signs are present, they may include the following:
- Bleeding gums– Gums should never bleed, even when you brush vigorously or use dental floss
- Loose teeth– Also caused by bone loss or weakened periodontal fibers (fibers that support the tooth to the bone).
- New spacing between teeth – Caused by bone loss.
- Persistent bad breath– Caused by bacteria in the mouth.
- Pus around the teeth and gums– Sign that there is an infection present.
- Receding gums– Loss of gum around a tooth.
- Red and puffy gums– Gums should never be red or swollen.
- Tenderness or Discomfort – Plaque, calculus (tartar), and bacteria irritate the gums and teeth.
Types of periodontal disease
Treatment methods depend upon
the type of disease and how far the condition has progressed. If
diagnosed and treated in the early stages, simple nonsurgical periodontal
therapy may be sufficient. If periodontitis has advanced to the point
where the periodontal pockets are deep and significant amounts of bone are lost,
surgical therapy may be necessary.
Good oral hygiene at home is a
vital step to help keep periodontal disease from becoming more serious or
recurring. Home care alone, however, is usually insufficient for controlling
the bacterial infection below the gum line where your toothbrush, dental floss,
and other oral hygiene aides do not reach. Once the bacteria have colonized
below the gum line specialized dental instruments are needed for their removal.
are several different methods for treating periodontal diseases: