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Gum diseases (periodontal diseases)

Periodontal diseases are inflammatory diseases that affect the gums and tissues surrounding the teeth. Gum disease is the cause of 70% of tooth loss in adults. Gum diseases can be treated easily and successfully when diagnosed at an early stage. Prevention or treatment of gum disease; It also brings other benefits such as protecting natural teeth, providing more comfortable chewing and better digestion. The first symptom is bleeding at the gingival margins (visible when brushing teeth) and the gingival color changing from pink to red. This stage is the early stage of the disease. It may not cause much symptoms and discomfort in the early period. If left untreated, the disease progresses, causing melting of the alveolar bone that supports the teeth, and this situation is not reversible.

In the advanced stage, a “periodontal pocket” is formed between the tooth and the gingiva. The presence of periodontal pocket facilitates the localization of the infection and the progression of the disease. As the disease progresses, the teeth begin to wobble due to bone resorption, sometimes abscesses occur and eventually the teeth go into extraction.

What are the symptoms of gum disease?

There are many signs of gum disease; Bleeding gums while brushing teeth. Red, swollen and tender gums. Soft gums that can be easily separated from the teeth. Inflammatory discharge between the teeth and gums. Teeth that are swinging or spaced apart (creation of gaps between teeth or increasing existing gaps). Persistent bad breath is the most common symptom.

However, gum disease can reach advanced stages without any symptoms. For this reason, it is extremely important to visit the dentist at regular intervals.

What is the cause of gum disease?

The most important cause of gingival disease is the sticky and colorless layer of dental dirt that accumulates on the teeth, called “bacterial dental plaque”. Removal of dental plaque by daily brushing and use of dental floss is the basic requirement for a healthy mouth. If plaque is not effectively removed from the teeth, it turns into hard structures that adhere to the teeth known as calculus or tartar. In this case, the disease progresses further and the gingival pockets become deeper, the bacteria go deeper; It progresses to the bone and destruction begins in the alveolar bone that supports the tooth. If the disease is left untreated, eventually the teeth will become loose and may need to be extracted.

How to prevent gum disease?

The most important task in the prevention of periodontal disease falls on the person himself. It is necessary to remove bacterial dental plaque with daily oral care procedures (tooth brushing and using dental floss). It is equally important to visit the dentist regularly. Daily oral care procedures can minimize calculus formation, but may not prevent it completely.

What is the treatment of gum disease?

Treatment in the early period of gingival disease includes removing the attachments (plaque and tartar) on the teeth and providing a smooth root surface. This process ensures the removal of bacteria and irritants that cause inflammation in the gingiva. Usually, this treatment is sufficient for the adaptation of the gingiva to the tooth or the shrinkage of the gingiva and the disappearance of the pocket. In the majority of cases in the early stages of gingival disease, daily effective oral care is sufficient for successful treatment, following scaling, removal of plaque and providing a smooth root surface. More advanced cases may require surgical treatment.

After periodontal treatment, patients should be regularly examined by a dentist at intervals of 6 months to 1 year. Effective application of daily oral care procedures after gingival treatment is the most important factor for the success of the treatment.