Monday, July 9, 2012

Gum Disease

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Gum disease is very common. In the UK, it is estimated that half the adult population has some degree of gum disease and most people experience it at least once. It is much less common in children. If you have gum disease, your gums may bleed when you brush your teeth and you may have bad breath. In severe cases, a condition called periodontitis can develop. It affects the tissues that support teeth and hold them in place. Each year in the UK there are about six cases of severe periodontitis for every 100,000 people.''

If periodontitis is not treated, the bone in your jaw can decay and small spaces can open up between the gum and teeth. Your teeth can become loose and may eventually fall out. about the symptoms of gum disease. What causes gum disease? Gum disease is caused by a build-up of plaque on the teeth. Plaque is a sticky substance that contains bacteria. Some bacteria in plaque is harmless, but some is very harmful for the health of your gums. If you do not remove plaque from your teeth by brushing them, it will build up and irritate your gums, leading to inflammation and soreness. About the causes of gum disease. ''

When to see your dentist You should make an appointment to see your dentist if your gums are painful, inflamed or if they bleed when you brush your teeth. You can find a dentist near you by using the post code search facility.''

Preventing and treating gum disease

Mild cases of gum disease can usually be treated or 'reversed' by maintaining a good level of oral hygiene. This includes brushing your teeth using an effective technique at least twice a day and flossing daily. If necessary, your dentist will be able to give your teeth a thorough clean and remove any hardened plaque (tartar). They will also be able to show you how to clean your teeth effectively to help prevent plaque building up in the future. If you have severe gum disease, you will need to have further non-surgical treatment and, in some cases, surgical treatment. This will usually be carried out by a specialist in periodontics. Read more about treating gum disease and how to keep your teeth clean. Also, read more about preventing gum disease. Complications of gum disease If you have untreated gum disease that develops into periodontitis, it can lead to further complications such as:
* Gum abscesses (painful collections of pus)
* Damage to the periodontal ligament (the tissue that connects the tooth to the socket)
* Damage to the alveolar bone (the bone in the jaw that contains the sockets of the teeth)
* Receding gums
* Loose teeth
* Loss of teeth Complications of Gum Disease.

If you do not treat periodontitis (where the tissue that supports teeth is affected), you may develop further complications including:

* Recurrent gum abscesses (painful collections of pus)
* Increasing damage to the periodontal ligament (the tissue that connects the tooth to the socket)
* Increasing damage to the alveolar bone (the bone in the jaw that contains the sockets of the teeth)
* Receding gums
* Loose teeth
* Loss of teeth Acute necrotising ulcerative gingivitis If you have acute necrotising ulcerative gingivitis (ANUG) and it is not treated, it can cause more severe complications. The infection can spread to all areas of your gums and the alveolar bone surrounding your teeth. This can lead to:
 * The gums between your teeth being completely destroyed
* Large ulcers (open sores) leaving permanent holes in your gums
* Loose and unstable teeth If ANUG is not properly treated the first time you have it, you are more likely to have recurring cases in future. This can leave you with:
* Bad breath (halitosis)
* Bleeding gums
* Receding gums Gangrene In very rare cases, ANUG can lead to a condition called gangrene. Gangrene occurs when tissue starts to die and waste away. The type of gangrene that can occur as a result of ANUG is called noma. Noma affects lips and cheeks. If you develop it, you may need to have the dead tissue removed. Noma usually only affects people who:
* Have a very weak immune system - for example, those with conditions such as HIV and AIDS
* Are malnourished - do not eat enough of the right food groups to get the nutrients they need for good health.''

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