Periodontal disease is the second most common reason for tooth loss. It attacks the components (gum, tooth socket, periodontal ligament and cementum) which attach the tooth to the surrounding tissues, and therefore causes tooth loss. Under normal conditions, the epithelial cuff and the gingival fluid protect the periodontium from external damage, however plaque accumulation and tartar formation on the tooth bring on gingivitis, which later lead to gum recession and periodontitis. In case of bad dental hygiene, tartar (as a permanent mechanical irritation) and the bacteria in the plaque induce chronic gingivitis. This is indicated by a swollen, dark red gum, which is painless, but bleeds during tooth brushing. If we do not eliminate the reasons, the way for periodontitis is paved. This affects the periodontal ligament, the cementum and the alveolar bone, resulting in bone decay. In the first phase, gum pockets develop as the epithelial cuff descends deeper. Here, food particles can attach much more easily, boosting the inflammation. In the end, due to the decayed periodontium, the tooth loosens.
Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gum, and it does not bring on bone decay. Acute gingivitis is usually caused by infections, such as herpes.
Frequently asked questions and answers about periodontal disease
QUESTION: Is the periodontal disease reversible?
ANSWER: If the periodontal disease is detected in time, the process is reversible, while later it can only be stabilized and treated. First of all, bad dental hygiene must be treated by regular and thorough tooth brushing. In any case, you must contact a specialist, who will scale your teeth, teach you proper dental hygiene, and provide a treatment plan, if necessary.
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