Gum Disease
Periodontal Health Affects

Research has shown that gum disease can influence heart disease and other health conditions in negative ways. They suggest that gum disease could even be a more serious factor in heart disease than smoking, cholesterol, hypertension and age. One reason for this is the fact that the bacteria found in diseased gums can come loose and move throughout the body. When this bacteria reaches arteries it can cause arterial plaque to build up and harden which in return adversely affect blood flow.

Healthy Gums
Healthy Gums

Healthy gums are generally pink and anchor the teeth firmly in place. Healthy gums do not bleed or hurt during normal brushing and flossing.

Early forms of gum disease can easily be treated and reversed with daily brushing and flossing and dental checkups every 6 months. George A. Malkemus, DDS can get you on your way to healthy gums. All you need to do is call (707) 585-8595 or request an appointment online and come in for a visit. Your gums will be glad you did!

Stages Of Gum Disease
Gingivitis

Gingivitis is an early stage of gum disease. Gingivitis develops as toxins, enzymes and other plaque byproducts by irritating the gums, making them tender, swollen and likely to bleed easily. Gingivitis generally can be stopped with proper oral hygiene and minor treatment from your dentist. If this is achieved, your gums can return to a healthy state.

Periodontitis

Moderate gum disease is when the tooth's bone tissue starts to deteriorate. Periodontitis occurs when plaque byproducts destroy the tissues that anchor your teeth in the bone. The gums deteriorate and begin detaching themselves from the teeth forming gum pockets, which allows more plaque to collect below the gum line. This causes the roots of the teeth to become susceptible to decay. Generally, patients notice an increase in sensitivity to hot and cold and to touch.

Advanced Periodontitis

Advanced periodontitis occurs when a major amount of gum and bone tissue has been lost and the teeth are losing more and more support due to the loss of periodontal ligament and bone. Some teeth are unable to be saved and must be extracted. If left untreated, advanced periodontitis can cause severe health problems elsewhere in the body.

About Periodontal Disease
About Periodontal Disease

Periodontal diseases are infections of the gums which gradually lead to the destruction of the bone support around your natural teeth. These diseases effect more that 80% of Americans by the age of 45.

Dental plaque is the primary cause of gum disease. Bacteria found in plaque produce enzymes and toxins which injure the gums. Injured gums turn red, swell and bleed easily.

If this injury is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth, causing pockets (spaces) to form.

Plaque can also harden into a rough, porous substance known as calculus (tartar).

This can occur both above and below the gum line. As periodontal diseases progress, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorate.

If left untreated, this leads to tooth loss. Pain is usually not present until damage from this disease is very advanced.

Sensitivity

Suppress the urge to avoid cleaning teeth that are sensitive to cold! Teeth that have suffered damage from gum disease will always be more sensitive to cold. Avoiding them only makes it worse.

After any dental treatment, teeth may become sensitive. This is their way of letting you know that they've been injured. Any injury (cavity, tooth clenching/grinding, gum infection) can injure the nerves in a tooth. This should not last long if the teeth are kept clean. If the teeth are not kept clean, the sensitivity will remain or get worse.

If your teeth are especially sensitive, consult with your dentist. This could be a sign of the need for root canal treatment, a gum tissue graft, a desensitizing toothpaste (with potassium nitrate), or a concentrated fluoride gel (0.4% stannous- or 1.1% sodium-fluoride) may do the trick.

Chemotherapy for the Gums?
Chemotherapy for the Gums?
Since periodontal diseases are caused by localized bacterial infections, antibiotics and/or disinfectants play a role in treatment. But due to possible side-effects, including allergies, the role is secondary to mechanical tooth cleaning.

Disinfectant mouth rinses may be prescribed before or after surgery to kill bacteria above the gum line. The same rinses may be used to irrigate gum pockets to prevent abscesses.

Disinfectants or antibiotics in the form of gels or microspheres may be placed in gum pockets to help reduce infection. Antibiotics (taken by mouth) may be prescribed before or after surgery in case of more serious infections.
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