Oral hygiene should be presented as an important daily regimen for each individual. Specific guidelines need to be adhered to, and the importance of strict oral practices, directly geared at having optimal health should be realized. Brushing of the teeth needs to be maintained at the level of at least twice a day, while flossing should be done once per day. Brushing after each meal is preferable, but if it is not possible to do so, rinsing food particles and bacteria from the mouth and teeth throughout the day is advisable. When dental care is not practiced, plaque and tartar can be left to accumulate, usually at the base of the teeth. If the problem is left unaddressed, inflammation and infection may occur in the gums. This condition is called gingivitis, and without treatment, may further develop into periodontitis.
At the point of periodontitis, inflammation of the gums will have caused pockets to form between gum lines and teeth. Plaque and tartar have by now found their way into these pockets, and with soft-tissue swelling present, the bacterial carrying agents of plaque and tartar are trapped inside. Continued inflammation will cause tissues and bone around the teeth to destruct, and therefore lead to loosening of the teeth or tooth loss altogether. Gums may also recede, and there may be a separation of teeth. This is often the reason for sizeable gaps in one’s dental structure, where there was previously none before.
Occasionally, what may appear to be periodontitis will actually prove to be a condition known as scurvy. This disease may occur due to a severe deficiency of Vitamin C. Symptoms of scurvy are common to those of periodontitis, presenting bleeding and spongy gums, as well as tooth loss.
There also exists an uncommon strain of periodontitis know as Juvenile periodontitis. The condition is highly destructive and believed to be solely genetic. This condition results from a different source than that of the commonly known periodontitis and gingivitis diseases which directly result from the practice of poor oral hygiene.
Periodontitis usually presents without pain, but should be looked for in the symptoms of bleeding, tender or swollen gums. Receding gum lines, separating teeth, and persistent bad breath are also signs to be looked for, as well as puss between the teeth and gums. A change in the way teeth fit together when pressed into a bite, or a change in the fit of partial dentures can also signal the gum disease.
At the first signs of gingivitis or periodontitis, an appointment should be made with the dentist’s office. Most people who develop one or both of these oral diseases tend to be chronic avoiders of the dentist. But one should never assume to be immune from gum disease, given they do indeed, make regular dental visits.
Upon diagnosis of periodontitis, a dental hygienist will usually inspect the dental structure for swollen gums and loosening of teeth. X-rays may be taken for evaluation of tooth bone structure, and periodontal probing is performed to measure the depth of pockets formed between gums and teeth.
For treatment of the disease, the dental hygienist will clean under the gum margins, removing plaque and inflamed soft tissue trapped inside the pockets around the teeth. The hope is that the gums will reattach to the teeth as bacterial colonies are removed, and become non-existent. This practice is usually sufficient in treating the disease, except in cases where the condition is more advanced.
If after cleaning under the gum margins, the gum fails to reattach to the teeth, and deep pockets remain, a surgical procedure known as gingivectomy may be required, and will be done under local anesthesia. A wound dressing is applied post-op, and should leave the gums completely healed after a week or so.
In some instances, dental hygienist will forgo a minor gingivectomy, and opt instead for a flap procedure, where an area of the gum tissue is lifted away from the tooth to remove calculus and inflamed tissue. Bone can then be reconstructed, while the gums are set into proper alignment and sutured. Recovery will come with some discomfort over the span of a few days, with sutures being removed after about a week.
Prevention of Periodontitis can only be obtained through the continuous practice of oral hygiene. Brushing, flossing, and routine visits to the dentists should be a rule of thumb, as gum disease can lead to very serious conditions. Scientists have even linked gum disease to certain heart conditions.
Knowing when to replace a tooth brush can also play an important role in oral health. At the first sign of wear, a toothbrush should be replaced.
When brushing, offer at least two minutes to this time, while being sure to thoroughly clean each individual tooth, both front and back surfaces. Address the tongue and roof of mouth to ensure all bacteria has been cleared away.
There are some home remedies that may assist in the prevention of gum disease. A couple include rinsing the mouth, gums, and teeth with hydrogen peroxide, or sesame oil.
Hydrogen peroxide kills bacteria, plain and simple. Many people are unaware that peroxide can be safely used as an oral rinse, but check the labeling on most bottles, and you‘ll see the product mentioned as being appropriate for use as a gargle or rinse.
Sesame oil has been used as a healing agent for thousands of years. And in one study done at Maharishi International College in Fairfield Iowa, sesame oil was found to reduce the oral bacteria which causes gingivitis, by as much as 85%. This data became apparent after a group of students were instructed to rinse their mouths with the oil. http://www.youthingstrategies.com/qualities.htm
Although these home remedies can be quite beneficial in the prevention of gum disease, they should by no means replace a strict regimen of proper brushing and flossing. But indeed, many have found the beginning symptoms of gum disease, to be reversed by use of hydrogen peroxide and/or sesame seed oil.