A Closer Look at The Most Common Cause of Adult Tooth Loss
The American Academy of Periodontology states that despite progressive advancements in the periodontal therapy, periodontal disease still remains the most common cause of adult tooth loss.
Our indepth understanding of this chronic disease will add insight to an easier prevention, better treatment of this disease and an improved ability for long-term maintenance of it.
Some common questions that can be raised are :
1. Question: I have no pain but I have been told I have gum disease? Can I have gum disease when there is no pain?
1. Answer: Gum disease is a chronic inflammatory disease of the gum disease and the underlying bone and ligaments that protect and hold the tooth in place. Since Periodontal Disease is not associated with pain it can remain silent for years and cause a lot of damage to the sorounding jaw tissues if it is not diagnosed. Clinical exam and Radiographs are two important tools to diagnose gum disease.
2. Question: I dont have a single cavity but I have been told I have gum disease? Is that possible? My diet is good and i brush 3 to 4 times a day!
2. Answer: Both Decay and Periodontal Disease are caused by bacterial micro-organisms. However, the bacteria that cause decay and periodontal disease are very different. Thus, sometimes in a perfectly virgin or untouched, undecay teeth there maybe mild to severe periodontal disease. Most common places for periodontal disease to manifest itself is between the teeth and eventhough one may perfectly brush several times a day and have a dietary habit that is not conducive to having tooth decay the lack of cleaning between the teeth (lack of flossing) can lead to periodontal disease.
3. Question: How prevalent is Periodontal Disease?
3. Answer: There is different levels of gum diease , however some studies have shown a prevalence of as high as 80% or more of some degree of gum disease in the population.
4. Question: What are some of the risk factors for gum disease?
4. Answer: Gum disease is usually mulitfactorial, however these are some of the potential causative factors of gum disease:
a. Tobacoo smoking or chewing
b. Systemic diseases such as diabetes, AIDs, leukocyte disorders, etc.
c. Some types of meication such as steroids, some anti-epileptic drugs, cancer therapy drugs, some calcium channel blockers and oral contraceptives.
d. Bridges or crowns that no longer fit properly
c. crooked teeth
e. defective, broken down fillings
f. pregnancy or use oral contraceptives
g. Genetic predisposition to "Periodontal Disease"
5. Question: What are some of the Warning signs:
5. Answer: Often times warning signs to the patient are either absent or hard to observe however these are some of the signs that may be associated when one has gum disease:
a. Gums that bleed easily
b. Red, swollen, tender gums
c. Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
d. Persistent bad breath or bad taste
e. Permanent teeth that are loose or separating
f. Any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
g. Any change i the fit of partial denture
h. Gaps between the teeth or gums that are getting progressively bigger