A guide for people with periodontal disease
Periodontal disease is the inflammation and infection of the gums. It is caused by plaque, a thick and sticky film of bacteria that builds up on the teeth.
Plaque can harden to become calculus, known as tartar. Plaque and calculus are caused by poor oral hygiene; that is, the teeth have not been cleaned thoroughly or often enough.
Early stage of gum disease: Bacteria in plaque and calculus can damage the gums and cause gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums. Gingivitis can usually be treated successfully by removal af the plaque and calculus, followed by thorough brushing and flossing every day.
Advanced stage of gum disease: The advanced stage of gum disease is called periodontitis. It can cause serious damage to teeth and the gums, and the bone that supports the teeth.
As gum inflammation and infection get worse, gum pockets are formed, and gums may recede from the teeth. As a result, the teeth can become loose, fall out or require extraction by a dentist.
Periodontitis can result in the loss of many teeth in some people.
Benefits of treatment: The purpose of periodontal treatment is to stop or slow down the progression of gum disease. Benefits include having:
And what to do about them
Wisdom teeth(called third molars) usually do not push through the gums until people are in their late teens, twenties or even older. Wisdom teeth are usually the last teeth to come through the gums.
Most people have four wisdom teeth. Some people have no wisdom teeth. In many people, not enough space is at the rear of the jaws for wisdom teeth to easily come through the gums. If the jaw does not have enough space for the wisdom tooth to come through, the tooth will become wedged in or “impacted”.
Some impacted wisdom teeth remain in place and cause no trouble. However, other impacted wisdom teeth may cause severe problems.
Often one or more wisdom teeth will cause problems and must be removed. If one (or more) of your wisdom teeth causes problems, your dentist may recommend that it be removed. Removal of a wisdom tooth is a very common procedure. Removal of troublesome wisdom teeth should usually be done as soon as possible before the problems get worse.
If your wisdom teeth are likely to be difficult or complicated to remove, your dentist may refer you to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to remove the teeth.
After discussion with your dentist, a decision will be made whether the tooth will be removed under local or general anaesthetic.
If surgery is fairly simple, your dentist may give you a local anaesthetic with a needle. The local anaesthetic will numb the gums and lower parts of the face.
For some people, the dentist may recommend general anaesthesia that is, putting them to sleep with an injection. General anaesthesia is given by a specialist anaesthetist.
The jaw joint is also known as the “temporomandibular joint”, or TMJ. It can be felt by placing your fingers just in front of your ears, and opening and closing your mouth. The joint allows the jaw to open, close, and move to the side and forward. It plays an important role in jaw functions such as talking, chewing and yawning. It is one of the most complex and frequently used joints in the body.
A TMJ disorder may affect one or both joints, often causing pain and limiting jaw function. Symptoms usually arise in early adulthood, but children and the elderly can also be affected.
TMJ disorders are common, with about seven in ten people being affected at some time in their lives. Although about one person in four is aware of the symptoms or reports them to a dentist or medical practitioner, only five people in 100 seek treatment.
Most symptoms of TMJ disorder are mild and do not need treatment. As in other joints of the body, symptoms often go away with time.
Causes and Symptoms
Various factors can aggravate TMJ disorder.
Symptoms of a TMJ disorder may include:
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