The tooth, Bone and gums are the major components or the dental apparatus. The health of each one of them affects the other. The weakest link is the gums which can be affected with genetic predisposition or lack of good oral hygiene. Next is the tooth which if decayed causes the surrounding gums and bone to be lost. The most resistant is the bone and it’s the most protected because it’s shielded from the oral environment.
Healthy gums Vs diseased gums
How does gum disease progress ?
The main causative agent of gum disease is plaque and tartar. Build up of plaque and tartar is behind the formation of pockets around the teeth. When regular cleanings are not performed, food residue tend to deposit in the bottom of the sulcus. The sulcus is the small fold of gums that surrounds the tooth at it’s neck. With time these residues harden because of the mineral components in the saliva secretions. These residues becomes what we call tartar and are impossible to remove with a tooth brush. Gums disease is in the making. Only professional cleaning can remove these build ups. Tartar build up irritate the gums and causes inflammation. Gum inflammation erodes the underlying bone supporting the teeth and the pockets become larger ( Refer to the image ).
Is a regular cleaning enough to prevent gum disease ?
For the average population a regular cleaning each 6 month is enough. For the patient who is not very thorough in cleaning and flossing, more cleaning appointments are required. Dr Raad will assess your individual needs and inform you of the best way to maintain your dentition. When regular cleanings and deep cleaning can no longer maintain the pockets around your teeth. Your dentist will recommend gum surgery known as periodontal surgery. This surgery will consist of opening the gums to access the deep pockets around the teeth. The inflamed tissue will be resected and excess height will be trimmed to allow better hygiene at home. Patient will be coming back on a 3-4 month basis for regular cleanings.
Is gum disease painful ?
What’s dangerous about gum disease is that it’s not painful. Bleeding upon brushing, flossing and a bad breath might be the only symptoms experienced. When teeth become mobile it is an indication of the severity of the disease. At that stage the bone support has been lost.