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Dental Health: Gum Diseases  Previous Next

Gum Diseases

by: Dentist Finder

Gum disease or peridontal disease is very common in the US. MedlinePlus, a web service maintained by the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, estimates that more than 80 percent of American adults have some form of gum disease. It could be gingivitis, a mild form of inflammation of the gums, or a more serious condition called periodontitis that could damage the gums and bone eventually leading to tooth loss and other health problems.

According to the American Academy of Periodontology, periodontal diseases are caused by "serious bacterial infections that destroy the attachment fibers and supporting bone that hold your teeth in your mouth".

Gingivitis
Gingivitis, which causes the gums to become red, swollen and bleed easily, is the mildest form of gum disease. It causes little discomfort and is often due to poor oral hygiene. It can easily be cured with good oral health habits and professional treatment.

Periodontitis
If untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis when the plaque on the teeth spread below the gum line. Bacteria in the plaque produce irritable toxins causing a chronic inflammatory response in the body, which can lead to the destruction of tissues and bone that support the teeth. Gums separate from the teeth to form pockets of infection and they deepen over time destroying more gum tissue and bone. Although symptoms are mild, the condition can eventually lead to tooth loss.

The most common forms of periodontitis include:

Chronic Periodontitis
The most frequently occurring form can be identified by the pocket formation and recession of the gums. It can occur at any age but is more prevalent in adults. Inflammation within the supporting tissues of the teeth can cause progressive attachment and bone loss.

Aggressive Periodontitis
Causes rapid loss of attachment and bone destruction and occurs in people who are otherwise clinically healthy. Periodontitis as a sign of systemic diseases You may have heard of the mouth-body connection.In some people, systemic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and respiratory disease, are associated with a form of periodontitis. This form can often manifest itself at a relatively young age.

Necrotizing Periodontal Disease
An infection where cells in the gum tissues, periodontal ligaments and the jaw bone die causing lesions or wounds. These are commonly seen in people suffering from systemic conditions such as malnutrition, HIV infection, and immunosuppression.

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