Dental Decay and Gum Disease

There very many people with the problem of bad breath, gum problems and tooth decay. Dental decay and a gum disease called gingivitis are today the most prevalent diseases in man. Immediately after birth, the mouth contains many kinds of bacteria. A few of these bacteria are harmful to man. The harmful bacteria will constantly keep on forming a sticky film called plaque on the teeth and gums. When we eat sugary food, the sugar combine with plaque and plaque becomes even more harmful. Plaque is also harmful by itself if allowed to remain on the teeth for more than a day. When sugar is taken into the mouth in the form of either food or drink, it is immediately absorbed by saliva, which then attaches itself to the sticky film of plaque.

There are four stages in the progression of gum disease:

1. The plaque lying on the teeth next to the gums causes them to become red, slightly swollen, rounded ana shiny, liable to bleed when brushed but without pain. These changes up to this stage can be reversed, and the gum made healthy by removing plaque completely every day.

2. After some months or years of this inflammation, the plaque lying on the teeth will cause the uppermost fibres between the root and bone to rot, and this will be followed by the loss of the bone to which they were attached. The gum pocket will also become deeper as the bone levels fall. The gum remains red, swollen, and liable to bleed when brushed. At this stage there is still no pain. This is reversible if you can remove the plaque everyday. This will make the gums perfectly healthy again, although you will not regain the bone, and the gum should shrink to a new healthy shape slightly lower on the tooth.

3. After many years without good plaque removal, a lot of bone has been lost and the gum shrunk down. The gum pocket has therefore become much deeper. Because of the bone loss, the tooth may start to feel a little loose, and front teeth sometimes start to drift. Redness, swelling and bleeding continue, but there is still no pain. Removing the plaque every day is still the first step to retrieving the situation, but you should now be under the active care of a dentist who can provide special gum treatment and supervise you.

4. This is the final stage of gingivitis, periodontitis. It occurs after years without plaque removal and gum treatment. Most of the bone has, by now, been lost around many of the teeth, so some of teeth are loose and starting to hurt. This takes you to the dentist, and he suggests that the teeth should be removed, because they are past saving or you need dentures. Since you are in pain and probably getting a bad taste in the mouth, you will only be too happy to agree.

How to Avoid Gum Disease Gingivitis and Periodontitis

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