Overview of Gum disease
Gum disease or periodontal disease is the
inflammation of the tissue supporting and surrounding the tooth. The teeth are held in the mouth by the root, which is embedded
in your jawbone. The roots are connected to the bone by hundreds of thin “elastic threads” called periodontal
ligament. The bone is covered by the gum, also called gingiva, which is attached to the bone thru
periosteum. The top part of the gum (gingival crest) next to the tooth is not attached forming
a little pocket, which should measure less than 1 mm in the healthy individual.
In order to successfully treat periodontal disease or
gum disease we have to understand the reasons of the disease. Our oral cavity is always populated
by bacteria even in the healthiest individuals. It takes a 24-hour period for these harmless
bacteria to turn pathogenic and cause periodontal inflammation. This inflammtion will lead to gum disease.
teeth and gums are not properly cleansed, then the remaining bacteria along with the food remnants will build on the tooth
and below the gum. This bacterial build up is called plague. Bacterial plaque, a sticky,
colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth, is the main cause of gum inflammation and periodontal disease.
Plaque is not just food debris. it contains millions of bacteria and very toxic in its nature. As plaque
builds, it becomes calcified and hard and dental calculus (tartar) appears, depositing on the teeth. Tartar
build up spreads below the gum, destroying bone and ligaments supporting the tooth.
(periodontal pockets )start to develop.
The pockets (empty space defined by the
root of the tooth, the level of the bone and the top edge of the gum) appear. These pockets trap the bacteria and
plaque, and are the perfect incubators for it, leading to the progression of gum inflammation disease and gum
The deeper the pockets, the harder for you to clean
out the food debris. More plaque builds up, leading to more tartar and calculus,
the bacterial count in hundreds of millions, gum inflammation progresses.
The gum inflammation increases. Your body
starts to produce special enzymes in response to the bacteria to combat the onset of gum disease. These enzymes
are trying to fight the bacteria, but along with bacteria it also starts to destroy the bone surrounding the teeth.
X-ray showing calculus and bone lose on both
left and right sides of the mouth
Gum disease symptoms
disease symptoms include
- Bleeding gums during brushing
swollen or tender gums
- Bad breath or
bad taste in the mouth
- Tartar or
calculus build up on the teeth
- Receded gums, teeth may look elongated
- Discharge from the pockets around the teeth
- Teeth that
seem loose or have changed position
- Teeth that are sensitive to cold or hot
- Changes in your bite
or the way they fit