Our mouths are full of bacteria. These bacteria, along with mucus and other particles, constantly form a sticky, colorless “plaque” on teeth. If plaque is not removed by regular brushing and flossing it can harden and form “tartar” that brush ing doesn’t clean. Presence of plaque and tartar on teeth causes inflammation of the gums that is called “Gingivitis.” The gums become red, swollen and can bleed easily. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that can usually be reversed by Scaling followed with daily brushing and flossing.
When Gingivitis is not treated, it can advance to “Periodontitis” (which means “inflammation around the tooth”). In Periodontitis, gums pull away from the teeth and form spaces (called “pockets”) that become infected. The body’s immune system fights the bacteria as the plaque spreads and grows below the gum line. Bacterial toxins and the body’s natural response to infection start to break down the bone and connective tissue that hold teeth in place. If not treated, the bones, gums, and tissue that support the teeth are destroyed. The teeth may eventually become loose and have to be removed.
Risk Factors that contribute to Gum Diseases
I. Smoking- One of the most significant risk factors associated with the development of gum disease. Additionally, smoking can lower the chances for successful treatment.
II. Hormonal changes in girls/women. These changes can make gums more sensitive and make it easier for gingivitis to develop.
III. Diabetes. People with diabetes are at higher risk for developing infections, including gum disease.
IV. Other illnesses and their treatments. Diseases such as AIDS and its treatments can also negatively affect the health of gums, as can treatments for cancer.
Usually people in their 30s or 40s are more susceptible to gum diseases. Men are more likely to have gum disease than women. Teenagers rarely develop Periodontitis, they can develop gingivitis, the milder form of gum disease.
Symptoms of gum disease include:
Bad breath that won’t go away
Red or swollen gums
Tender or bleeding gums
Receding gums or longer appearing teeth
This might be necessary if inflammation and deep pockets remain following Scaling and treatment medications. Flap surgery will be done to remove tartar deposits in deep pockets or to reduce the periodontal pocket and make it easier for you to keep the area clean. It involves lifting back the gums and removing the tartar. The gums are then sutured back in place so that the tissue fits snugly around the tooth again. After surgery the gums will heal and fit more tightly around the tooth.
Dental curettage is a technique to manage Periodontal Disease. It is a procedure in which diseased tissue is removed from the mouth and gums. Removal of the damaged tissue will promote the development of healthy tissue. The flap of the gum is cut and rotated away so that a pocket of infected tissue can be cleaned out before the flap is rotated back and fixed in place. Local anesthesia is often used to make you more comfortable, and the mouth is frequently flushed with a sterile solution to sweep out the debris.
Operculectomy is a minor surgical procedure where the affected soft tissue covering and surrounding the tooth is removed. This leaves an area that is easy to keep clean, preventing plaque buildup and subsequent inflammation. Operculectomy can be done with a surgical scalpel, electrocautery, or with lasers