Periodontal disease is the name for bacterial infections of the gums in the mouth. In most cases this disease is linked to poor oral hygiene. Some people however can have a genetic pre-disposition to the disease. The disease once initiated can progress more rapidly in people who have diabetes, especially if the diabetes is poorly controlled. Smoking is a strong risk factor for periodontal disease. more...
- occasional redness or bleeding of gums while brushing or using dental floss teeth or biting into hard food (e.g. apples)
- occasional swellings that recur
- halitosis or bad breath
- persistent bad taste in the mouth
- shaky teeth in later stages
- recession of gums resulting in apparent lengthening of teeth (also caused by heavy handed brushing using a hard tooth brush)
- pockets between the teeth and the gums (Pockets are sites where the jaw bone has been destroyed gradually or by repeated swellings. Teeth become loose or shaky when sufficient jaw bone has been destroyed. The unfortunate thing is that the bone destruction is largely painless.)
- lack of pain when bleeding happens after cleaning is NOT a sign of health.
- regular brushing and flossing and using an interdental brush at least daily.
- treatment by a Periodontist, which includes professional cleaning to remove calculus (tartar, tooth stone)and may include drugs (infrequently), and/or surgery occasionally.
- brushing properly on a regular basis (2 times a day)
- flossing daily and using interdental brushes if there is sufficient space between teeth and behind the last tooth in each quarter.
- regular dental checkups and professional teeth cleaning as required. This serves to monitor the person's oral hygiene methods and how the condition has responded to treatment. Professional tooth cleaning will not prevent or control the disease because the bacterial plaque (biofilm) returns on the tooth surfaces every 24 hours.
- Actinomyces naeslundii (a kind of bacteria)
- dental plaque
Disease progression and predisposition
- According to the Sri Lanka Tea Labourer study, on the absence of any oral hygiene activity, approximately 10% will suffer from severe periodontal disease with rapid loss of attachment(>2mm/yr). 80% will suffer from moderate loss (1-2 mm/year) and the remaining 10% will not suffer any loss.
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