Periodontal Diseases

What is Periodontal disease?


Gum diseases are estimated to be one of the most prevalent diseases all over the world even in most developed countries! There are some types of gum (periodontal) diseases. Periodontal disease is defined as the breakdown of the bone and soft tissue attachment that supports the teeth.  The main cause of periodontal disease (gum disease) is bacterial plaque. This bacteria, left untreated on your teeth, causes damage to the gums and the bone that supports your teeth; this can lead to premature tooth loss.

 

The following are a list of factors affecting the health of your gums:

 

  • Smoking/ Tobacco use
    Smoking is one of the most significant risk factors in the development and progression of periodontal disease. If you are a smoker, you must be evaluated by a periodontist regularly.
     
  • Diabetes
    Diabetics are more prone to developing infections, including periodontal disease. Periodontal disease may make it more difficult for a diabetic patient to control their blood sugar level. So, diabetics who have periodontal disease should be monitored and treated to eliminate the periodontal infection.
    It is important to see a Periodontist on a regular basis if you are a diabetic patient.
     
  • Heredity
    Studies show that over 30% of the population may be genetically predisposed to periodontal disease. Therefore, the American Academy of Periodontology recommends that if one member of a family has lost his/her teeth early in life, or has been treated for periodontal disease, all other family members should be evaluated as well.
     
  • Stress
    Is there anything which stress cannot have any effect on?! Stress has long been linked to many serious conditions such as cancer and hypertension. Now, research confirms that it may be also a risk factor for periodontal disease.
     
  • Heart disease and Stroke
    Researchers have found that people with periodontal disease are twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease as those without periodontal disease. Additional studies have proven that people who have suffered from a stroke were more likely to have periodontal disease.
     
  • Pregnancy and periodontal disease
    It's possible that if you have periodontal disease and are pregnant, you may be seven times more likely to have a premature, low birth weight baby an you are recommended to have regular periodontal evaluations.
     
  • Medications
    Some drugs such as oral contraceptives, antidepressants, anti-seizure medications and certain heart medications can affect your oral health. If you have noticed any changes in your mouth, such as dry mouth, bad breath, swollen or bleeding gums, and you take medications; consult a Periodontist for a complete evaluation.
     
  • Respiratory and periodontal disease
    Growing research suggests that if you have periodontal disease, you may be at increased risk for respiratory disease.

 

  • Clenching or grinding your teeth
    Do you think you grind your teeth? Is your jaw sore from clenching your teeth during the day? Clenching or grinding your teeth puts extra pressure on teeth and can accelerate periodontal problems.
    If you notice soreness in your facial muscles or joint, a clicking sound when opening and closing your mouth, along with discomfort, you may also be suffering from TMJ disorder. Consult a prosthodontist for an evaluation and possible treatment of TMJ disorder.

 

It should be impressed that the only factor which can be modified during a routine periodontal therapy is probably the Microbial Plaque and the most effective procedure to remove the plaque is mechanical debridement, which has been performed by toothbrushing, flossing, scaling, root planning and periodontal surgeries.

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