Gum disease, (gingivitis or periodontal disease), starts as an inflammation of the gums that if left untreated can affect and gradually destroy the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth.
Periodontal diseases are infections of the periodontal tissues, which include the gums, periodontal ligament and alveolar bone.
Gingivitis and periodontitis are the two main stages of gum disease.
Without proper treatment of gum disease, the teeth will finally become loose, fall out or have to be removed by a dentist.
General health risks caused by Periodontal Diseases
Over the recent years ther is increasing evidence to support the fact that dental problems like periodontal diseases can cause other serious health problems.
As stated by the American Academy of Periodontology, periodontal disease is a bacterial infection, and all infections are cause for concern. Periodontal bacteria can enter the blood stream and travel to major organs and begin new infections.
Research is suggesting that periodontal disease may:
Contribute to the development of heart disease, a leading cause of death.
Increase the risk of stroke.
Increase a woman's risk of having a preterm, low birth weight baby.
Pose a serious threat to people whose health is compromised by diabetes, respiratory diseases, or osteoporosis.
If you value your oral health as well as your overall health, a periodontal evaluation is a good idea that might prove especially important.
THE CAUSES OF BLEEDING GUMS (periodontal disease)The accumulation of dental plaque and tartar is usually what causes gingivitis, and it's almost always the result of inadequate brushing and flossing.
If poor oral hygiene promotes the overgrowth of bacterial plaque, changes in the composition of the plaque occur. The bacterial balance shifts over to gram negative anaerobic bacteria, which are responsible for inflammatory diseases.
The bacteria also invade the crevices between the gum and tooth (sulcus) and infect the periodontal tissues. These bacteria that form dental plaque and tartar release toxins that stimulate the body's immune system to over produce powerful infection-fighting factors called cytokines.
The immune factors of the body, in their effort to fight the infection, attack the person's own infected cells and periodontal tissues. This way, the supporting tissues of the teeth - gums, connective tissue and alveolar bone - are destroyed.
The bacteria most implicated in periodontal disease and bone loss are : Actinobacillus (A.) actinomycetemcomitans and Porphyromonas (P.) gingivalis. Other bacteria linked to gum disease are : Bacteroides (B.) forsythus , T. denticola, T. sokranskii and P. intermedia.
Gingivitis symptoms - First signs of Gum Disease
Many people visit their dentist with serious periodontal disease because they are not aware of what gum disease looks like in its early stages.
There are some early signs of gum disease that help us to detect it and fight it before it becomes a serious problem :
Bleeding gums during brushing or flossing
Red, tender or swollen gums
Loss of attachment between teeth and gums - pocket creation
Receding gums that make teeth look longer than normal
Sensitive teeth or pain on chewing
Persistent bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
Increased mobility of teeth
Pus coming from between your teeth and gums (abscess)
Pain is usually not a symptom, which partly explains why the periodontal disease may become advanced before it is diagnosed. Many people tend to ignore the most common syptoms such as bleeding gums and receding gums, considering them as normal.
If detected in its early stages gum disease can be reversed, so see your dentist if you notice any of the gingivitis symptoms.
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THE STAGES OF PERIODONTAL DISEASE
The cost involved with several dental treatments is significant and many patients can not afford it if they are not covered by their dental insurance. Learn how to choose a dental insurance plan that will help you provide the best dental treatment to yourself and your family.