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Sat Jun 22 2024 09:06 AM

Gum disease is the most common of all dental problems (estimates suggest that upto 80% people could have gum diseases without realising the same) and is also one, which is taken most mildly by people. Gum diseases destroy gum tissue and teeth, and studies indicate that it can lead to strokes, heart attacks, and pregnancy complications.

Gum disease, including gingivitis and periodontitis, are serious infections that can lead to tooth loss if left untreated. Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth. Gum disease generally doesn’t hurt. You may have it for years before you feel discomfort. Gum disease can affect one tooth or a number of teeth. Gum disease begins when the bacteria in plaque, which is the sticky, colourless film that constantly forms on the teeth, causes the gums to become inflamed.

Gum Disease and your Heart
According to the American Academy of Periodontology, people with gum disease are almost twice as likely to have coronary artery disease (also called heart disease). A study authored by Desvarieux has been published in the Journal of the American Heart Association that studied 657 people without known heart disease. The study found that people who had higher blood levels of certain disease-causing bacteria in the mouth were more likely to have deposits of fat and other substances (atherosclerosis) in the carotid artery in the neck. Clogging and narrowing of these carotid arteries can lead to stroke.

Gum disease treatment choices

  • Professional dental cleaning.
  • Scaling and root planing. This is a deep-cleaning, nonsurgical procedure, done under a local anaesthetic, whereby plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line are scraped away (scaling) and rough spots on the tooth root are made smooth (planing).
  • Flap surgery/pocket reduction surgery. During this procedure the gums are lifted back and the tarter is removed. This method reduces the size of the space between the gum and tooth, thereby decreasing the areas where harmful bacteria can grow and decreasing the chance of serious health problems associated with periodontal disease.
  • Bone grafts. Involves using fragments of your own bone, synthetic bone, or donated bone to replace bone destroyed by gum disease.
  • Soft tissue grafts. This procedure reinforces thin gums or fills in places where gums have receded. Grafted tissue, most often taken from the roof of the mouth, is stitched in place, adding tissue to the affected area.
  • Bone surgery. Smoothes shallow craters in the bone due to moderate and advanced bone loss. Following flap surgery, the bone around the tooth is reshaped to decrease the craters.

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