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Gum disease presents itself as an inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) or the jaw bone (periodontitis), and is generally referred to as periodontal disease, a degenerative condition of the supporting structure of the tooth.
Periodontal disease is chronic and painless, so that one does not even notice it for a long time. First, gums start to bleed due to the chronic inflammation and plaque build-up. With time, the inflammation can spread to the under-lying jaw bone, which it then destroys consistently until pockets are created. If left untreated, this condition leads to the loosening of the teeth and early tooth loss.
In addition to poor oral hygiene, smoking, stress, genetic susceptibility and some systemic diseases (e.g. diabetes), can also cause and accelerate periodontal disease.
According to recent studies, patients with periodontal disease have an increased risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke. Pregnant women suffering from periodontitis have an increased risk of undergoing premature birth.
The control of periodontal disease lies in the field of the dental hygienist. He/she specializes in diagnosing periodontal disease and treating it efficiently. In consultation with the dentist, bacteriological smears may also be useful.
It does at times occur that particularly deep pockets cannot be treated and must then be surgically reduced by the dentist.
Periodontal therapy takes several sessions with the dental hygienist to complete and requires your cooperation. Only in this way can the disease be controlled. A more regular recall with an appropriate measurements of the pockets and professional tooth cleaning is essential to maintain a stable outcome.