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मंगलवार, 17 मई 2011

Gum Disease



Gum Disease

Gum disease is an infection of the tissues and bones that surround and support the teeth. It is also called periodontal disease.
The two stages of gum disease are called gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is mild gum disease that affects only the gums, the tissue that surrounds the teeth. Periodontitis is gum disease that gets worse and spreads below the gums to damage the tissues and bone that support the teeth.
  • Gingivitis causes red, swollen gums that bleed easily when the teeth are brushed. Because gingivitis usually doesn't cause pain, many people don't get the treatment they need.
  • Periodontitis develops if gum disease gets worse. The gums pull away from the teeth, leaving deep pockets where germs called bacteria can grow and damage the bone that supports the teeth. Gums can also shrink back from the teeth. This can make the teeth look longer.

Causes of gum disease

Your mouth constantly makes a clear, sticky substance called plaque that contains bacteria. The bacteria in plaque make poisons, or toxins, that irritate the gums and cause the gum tissues to break down. If you don't do a good job of removing plaque from your teeth, it can spread below the gums and damage the bone that supports the teeth. With time, the plaque hardens into a substance called tartar that has to be removed
You are more likely to get gum disease if you:
  • Do not clean your teeth well.
  • Smoke or chew tobacco.
  • Have someone in your family who has gum disease.
  • Have a condition that makes it harder for your body to fight infection, such as:
    • Uncontrolled diabetes, AIDS, or leukemia.
    • A high level of stress.
    • A poor diet that’s low in nutrients.

Symptoms

It may be hard to tell if you have a mild case of gum disease. Healthy gums are pink and firm, fit snugly around the teeth, and do not bleed easily. But mild cases of gum disease (gingivitis) cause:
  • Gums that are red, swollen, and tender.
  • Gums that bleed easily during brushing or flossing.
As gum disease gets worse (periodontitis), the symptoms are easier to see, such as:
  • Gums that pull away or shrink from the teeth.
  • Bad breath that won't go away.
  • Pus coming from the gums.
  • A change in how your teeth fit together when you bite.
  • Loose teeth.

 
Prevention of Gum Disease

Gum disease is most common in adults, but it can affect anyone, even children. So good dental habits are important throughout your life:
  • Brush your teeth 2 times a day, in the morning and before bedtime, with a fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss your teeth once each day.
  • Visit your dentist for regular checkups and teeth cleaning.
  • Don't use tobacco products.
If you think you have a mild case of gum disease, make sure to take care of it before it gets worse. Keeping your teeth and gums healthy and getting regular checkups from your dentist can keep the disease from getting worse.

Children

The following are some concerns about dental care for children:
  • How can I make a trip to the dentist enjoyable for my child?
    A visit to the dentist can be a scary thing for children. You can reduce this possibility by choosing your dentist carefully and preparing your child for his or her first visit. Most importantly, don't communicate your own fears to your child.
  • Will my child need fluoride?Fluoride is a chemical that helps prevent tooth decay and cavities. It is often added to local water supplies, toothpastes, and other mouth care products. If your water supply does not contain enough fluoride, your dentist may recommend other sources of fluoride.
  • How do I brush my child's teeth?
    It is important to start brushing your child's teeth when they first come in. This keeps your child's teeth and gums healthy and provides a good model for what he or she will do in the fut

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