Gum disease is one of the most common oral diseases. It is one of the main causes of tooth loss in adults and the main cause in the elderly.
It is characterized by the effect on the gums. In other words, the tissues that surround and support the teeth: the gums, alveolar bone, and the supporting ligaments of the teeth. The process begins with gingivitis (gingivitis). At this point, the process is still reversible for most patients and the disease may not progress. However, if periodontitis becomes chronic and the inflammatory process persists and progresses, the remaining supportive tissues are destroyed irreversibly. At this advanced stage, the tooth begins to move and can be loose.
The most common signs and symptoms are: gum redness, with edema (swelling), which bleed spontaneously when chewing or brushing teeth; gum recession halitosis (bad smell); Pus between the teeth and gums. Teeth can be moved and repositioned.
There are specific bacteria that are the primary cause of this disease. However, other factors, when associated with bacterial plaque, promote the development of periodontal disease. genetic predisposition, poor oral hygiene, smoking habits, alcoholism, unhealthy diet, uncontrolled diabetes, hormonal changes (pregnancy, menopause), or Stress, Among others.
Gum disease develops silently for patients until it reaches advanced stages. Through regular visits to an oral hygienist, gum disease can be detected in its early stages and appropriate measures can be developed to control the disease. But there is a key point when we talk about prevention – oral hygiene. It is essential that you have excellent oral hygiene and that you regularly perform exfoliation (removal of tartar). Treatment of this disease may also include, in addition to peeling and root planing, the use of toothpaste and specific mouthwashes, sometimes antibiotic therapy and the use of surgical techniques.
Oral diseases, such as tooth loss, are often accepted as an inevitable consequence of life and aging. However, there is clear evidence that oral diseases are preventable, or that they can be reduced or prevented through easy and effective methods throughout life.
Opinion article by Luisa Sa Pereira, outpatient dentist in Santa Casa de Misericordia in Marco de Canaves