Preventing gum disease
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease is a disease affecting the supporting structures and the tissues around the tooth that keep teeth in place.
Causes of gum disease
Gum disease or Periodontitis is caused by bacterial or dental plaque. Plaque is the accumulation of oral bacteria on hard oral tissues, especially teeth and the variety of toxins, antigens and acids created by plaque affect the immune system of every individual.
Gum disease often occurs where the composition of dental plaque changes or the immune defence mechanisms of the individual are no longer able to cope with the bacterial challenge.
Smoking, stress and diabetes are factors that are thought to hamper the immune response.
With the immune system breaking down, gum tissues in contact with bacterial plaque become infected, leading to a condition commonly known as Gingivitis. If left untreated, this can lead to loss of tissue attachment around the tooth, affecting the bone as well as the gums.
Why have gum treatment?
Dental plaque is not easily removed from the surfaces of the teeth. If done correctly, every day brushing can remove the bacterial deposits above the gums. Sometimes these bacterial deposits can become calcified, leading to the formation of tartar above or below the gums.
Tartar can only be removed by your dentist or hygienist using special instruments. The purpose of periodontal treatment is to remove bacterial deposits and tartar from pockets around affected teeth halting the process of the disease. In certain cases, surgery involving the gums needs to be done.