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Periodontal (gum) disease is one of the most common bacterial infections in people around the world and also one of the main reasons for tooth loss. An inflammation of the supporting tissue around the teeth, including the gums and the bone, is mostly a result of poor oral hygiene. Plaque, the food debris mixed with saliva and bacteria sticks on the surface of the teeth and cannot be removed with brushing, it gets mineralized into tartar or calculus. Tartar is very hard to remove and can be removed only through a by a professional cleaning.
The first stage of gum disease is called Gingivitis. Red and swollen gums which bleed easily when brushing and flossing are the initial signs of gingivitis. If left untreated the harmful bacteria extends the inflammation of the gums into the surrounding bone. This stage of disease is called Periodontitis. The resorption of the bone causes periodontal pockets and the more it progresses the more difficult will be to clean inside the pockets. In advanced cases, the tooth may get loose and fall out.
Other factors which could increase the risk of gum disease are smoking and chewing tobacco, hormonal changes during puberty, pregnancy and menopause, stress, Diabetes, crooked and overlapping teeth, mouth breathing and poor nutrition. Some medications can cause overgrowth of the gums and it makes the cleaning of the teeth more difficult which can cause a higher risk of gum disease.
To prevent gum disease good oral hygiene is essential. Proper brushing of the teeth (at least twice a day) with fluoride toothpaste and regular flossing will help to keep the plaque and tartar away from the tooth's surface. Healthy nutrition with a minimum amount of sugar intake and drinking plenty of water will help to reduce the number of harmful bacteria and keep the gums healthy. Regular scaling and polishing sessions (twice a year) with the dentist or hygienist is also very important to check the condition of the gums and identifying any risk factors, besides removing the plaque and tartar from the surface of the teeth.
Treatment of gingivitis and periodontitis includes using techniques to remove the plaque and calculus deposits from above and below the gum line. Deep scaling and root planning help to make the root surfaces smooth, so that the gums can heal and gets reattached to the teeth. Different techniques are used to regenerate the lost periodontal tissue around the teeth. In recent years the use of Lasers in the treatment of the periodontal pockets shows excellent results. A soft tissue laser used to assist periodontal therapy helps for a better decontamination of the pockets and reduces the number of bacteria responsible for periodontal disease significantly. Our clinic offers Laser Assisted Periodontal Therapy.
Gum recessions can appear if the surrounding tissue around the tooth pulls away and as a result, the root of the tooth gets exposed. This can happen as a result of the damage to the supporting bone tissue around the root. In most cases the recession is not very noticeable, as it is a gradual process until it becomes more severe.
An exposed tooth root cannot only look disturbing but can cause tooth sensitivity, especially when eating cold or hot foods and eventually can cause tooth loss. The treatment for such recessions and exposed roots is a gum tissue graft. The connective tissue graft is the most used method today, which can achieve excellent aesthetic results as well. A so-called sub epithelial connective tissue will be taken from under the skin of the roof of the mouth palate after preparing of a flap. The connective tissue will be stitched to the gum tissue around the exposed root. The stitches will be removed after 7-10 days and the healing period is, in average 2-3 weeks.