Periodontal Disease and Treatment....
Dental care for children at home need not be a complex issue if basic information about oral health and hygiene
is understood. So what is Periodontal Disease?
When plaque starts growing along the gum line, over time it can spread to below the gums. Once this occurs the
bacteria that are part of plaque begin releasing toxins which cause the gums to become irritated.
Unfortunately the body’s immune response to this irritation is to attack itself.
It is important for children especially, to learn good dental hygiene right from the start to prevent
periodontal disease, which is the name given to an infection that occurs in and around the gums.
This dental disease typically starts life as gingivitis but if left untreated will soon progress to a full blown
case of Periodontis.
Periodontal disease can develop in any area of our gums both back and front and on the top
and bottom levels. Once we develop the infection the body begins destroying the tissue, as well as, the bone
structure that support our teeth.
When this occurs our gums can separate from our teeth, opening up pockets which later get infected.
Understandably, these pockets will become deeper the longer the condition is left untreated. Tragically, once a
tooth starts to become loose, there is nothing a dental hygienist or dentist can do to save it, and in the end the
infected tooth must be extracted.
In relation to dental care parents should make their children aware as early as possible, that smoking
cigarettes will certainly lead to gum disease.
The relationship between smoking tobacco and periodontal disease has been studied extensively by many
independent research organisations and proven to have a direct correlation.
Genetics has been shown to play a role in the development of this oral disease, too. When periodontal disease is
known to run in a family, early intervention can mean the difference between keeping teeth intact and losing
Stress is one of the major factors that increase a person’s risk of developing periodontal disease, because the
body has a more difficult time fighting infection of any kind when we are stressed.
When a person is under stress, certain medications can have a negative impact on oral health which is why it's
important that the dentist is aware of any drugs the patient may be taking as well as the dosage.
Teeth clenching or grinding can also accelerate the rate at which the tissue that support teeth weaken.
Some women may end up with the dental disease because of hormonal imbalances during pregnancy and puberty
because of the stress these changes have on their bodies. Poor nutrition and Diabetes are also contributing factors
to this oral health condition.
Treatment of Periodontal Disease usually begins by scraping away the plaque and tartar
that has built up on the root surfaces. During this procedure the irritating toxins from the bacteria are also
Surgery usually can be avoided once the deep pockets have been thoroughly cleaned out but to remain effective
regular oral maintenance must be performed.
If surgery is necessary, the type will depend on the severity of the disease. Pocket depth reduction reduces the
size of the pockets that have developed, making it easer to keep plaque out. The pockets are cleaned and then
surgically tightened around the tooth.
Regenerative procedures attempt to regenerate the tissues and bone that have been lost. Crown lengthening
involves surgically removing and reshaping gums so that more of the tooth is visible.
To reduce sensitivity soft tissue grafts can cover up exposed tooth roots and also build up gum tissue that may
have been lost due to periodontal disease.
Next lets look at the importance of Teeth Cleaning.