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What Is Gum Disease?

Gum disease or Periodontal disease is more commonly known as pyorrhea is a progressively inflammatory disease of the gums & bone surrounding the teeth caused by accumulation of plaque & tartar around the teeth. It is number one cause of tooth loss & is believed that around 80% of the population may suffer from this disease . There are various forms & stages of this disease . There are various forms & stages of this disease & the treatment depends on how far the disease is progressed.

What are the various forms & stages of Gum Disease?

There re many stages of gum disease. The most common are :

  • Gingivitis :-
  • This is the first stage of gum disease & the mildest. It is caused by plaque build up. Your gums will be red & swollen & you may notice bleeding on brushing. This stage is reversible.

  • Mild periodontitis :-
  • In this case inflammation spreads from gums to surrounding one leading to mild bone loss around the teeth & also formation of minor periodontal pockets.

  • Moderate Periodontitis :-
  • In this case there is moderate gum infection leading to gum recession& moderate to serve bone losses & mobility of teeth

  • Severe periodontitis :-
  • It is the most severe form of the disease. Deep pocket formation, severe bone loss, mobile / loose teeth & visible pus fistulas may develop.

What are the various treatment options?

Treatment will depend upon the type of disease & how much far the condition has progressed.

  • Non surgical treatment options including.
    • a] Scaling & Polishing
    • b] Root Planning or Curettage
  • This is most done in cases of gingivitis & Mild Periodontitis

  • Surgical treatment options including
    • a] Flap Surgery
    • b] Soft tissue grafts
    • c] Bone grafts
  • This is done in moderate to severe Periodontitis.

What is the cause of gum disease?

The most common cause is poor oral hygiene, lack of proper brushing habits. However it can be age related in certain people also predisposing genetic factors. The condition can be aggravated in the following states such as pregnancy, diabetes, epilepsy & patients on chemotherapy, antidepressants, antihypertensives & antiepileptics.

What is the best way to prevent it?

The best way to prevent gum disease & tooth decay is to maintain good oral health care.
Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft bristled brush. Clean the areas between the teeth with a floss or interdental brush.
It is also advisable to seek regular gum evaluation by your dentist every 6 months.