Periodontal disease is a collective term for inflammation of the structures supporting the tooth. The simplest form of gum disease (gingivitis) is often a reaction to build up of plaque on the junction of the gum and the teeth. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that grows on surfaces of the mouth including teeth and tongue. It builds up in rough areas, difficult to clean areas especially between the teeth.
If left untreated, plaque then burrows underneath the gums and creates a space between the gums and teeth. This space is called a 'pocket'. Inflammation around the pocket leads to gradual bone loss around the tooth and leads to the more severe form of disease, Periodontitis. If left untreated it can lead to tooth loss
Symptoms to watch out for:
Factors contributing to periodontitis:
Treatment of gum disease involves scaling and polishing to remove tartar (calculus-hard deposits around the tooth) and stains. In more severe cases of gum disease, deep cleaning below the gums may be necessary with an anaesthetic (numbing agent). Occasionally surgery is required.
If gum disease has progressed too far, the tooth or teeth affected may have to be removed.
REMEMBER: PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE
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