Poor oral hygiene will not only cause tooth decay but could also lead to chronic gum disease. If left untreated this may cause teeth to fall out. Even if a person is in that extremely small group of individuals that are caries immune, he still may not be free from dental disease and even loss of teeth. Pyorrhea is a serious disease of gums that destroys the soft tissue and bones which support the teeth, causing the teeth to loosen, the gums to abscess, and jawbone to waste away. In this article we will discuss about pyorrhea gum disease with its symptoms treatment and prevention care.
What is Pyorrhea Gum Disease?
Pyorrhea gum disease is known by many names. Periodontitis is destruction of the tissues around the teeth. Periodontitis is inflammation of the tissues surrounding the teeth. Pyorrhea gum disease caused by systemic disease such as tuberculosis, diabetes, endocrine imbalance is called periodontitis. The term chronic marginal gingivitis is used to describe inflammation caused by debris and bacteria lodged at the margin of the gums.
What is Pyorrhea Gum Disease and Gingivitis?
Pyorrhea gum disease and gingivitis are two aspects of a chronic inflammatory gum disease which often leads to the less of teeth. Gingivitis starts as a mild inflammation that causes bleeding gums, and is very common. Pyorrhea or periodontal disease describes the later stages of chronic inflammatory gum disease, when pockets form beneath the collar of inflamed gum tissues. This is the most usual reason for loss of teeth in adults.
What is Plaque?
Plaque is an accumulation of micro-organisms and their products, together with substances derived from the salvia. It is continually deposited on the teeth and becomes increasingly thick unless it is removed regularly.
Gingivitis and periodontal disease will not occur if plaque is removed often and effectively from the teeth. If allowed to build up, however, it will cause varying degrees of damage, as some people have a greater susceptibility to the effects of plaque than others. The cause of this individual variation is not known, but there are a number of conditions in which the gums are more easily damaged by plaque. Hormonal changes during menstruation and pregnancy may result in a greater tendency towards plaque formation. This inflammation may also occur in cases of uncontrolled diabetes.
Who may be affected by Pyorrhea gum disease?
Periodontal disease is thought to be a disease of older people. But it is important to know that it often starts in children when the teeth erupt and may continue through several years until the teeth are lost.
How does Pyorrhea gum disease occur?
Periodontal disease begins at the edge of the gums, an area that is often missed when teeth are cleaned. The microcosm produces toxic products that irritate the tissues, causing swelling and redness. These noxious products are absorbed by the gum, and in time the underlying connective tissues fibres are destroyed. This leaves the gum tissues weak. A space is formed between the edge of the gum and the teeth that is called Periodontal pocket. The pockets provide an ideal place for bacteria to grow and produce more destructive products which continue to destroy soft tissue and bone. Serum and blood provide an even richer diet for the germs at the gingivitis margin. This process continues until the teeth are lost.
What causes Pyorrhea gum disease?
The microbes that cause Pyorrhea gum disease act differently than those that produce dental caries. Caries bacteria need an outside carbohydrate food source. But pyorrhea-causing agents live off nutrients in the tissue and are not dependent on the food we eat. Therefore, if we never eat carbohydrates, we probably would not have cavities, but we could have periodontal disease.
Risk Factors of Pyorrhea gum disease:
If plaque is not removed from the teeth, it soon serves as a matrix in which mineral salts of calcium and phosphates are deposited forming hard, cement-like, rough material called tartar (calculus). Calculus can cause Pyorrhea. It firmly affixes the injurious masses of bacteria to the tooth surface at the edge of the gum and also acts as a mechanical irritant. Each time that the gum is pushed against the hard rough mass during chewing or brushing, it abrades the soft tissue and bleeding results. Blood furnishes nourishment for the Pyorrhea bacteria and the process continues.
As the periodontal membrane loses its attachment, the epithelial covering of the of the gum grows down along the root. The calculus is now found within the pocket between gum and root as well as at the gum margin. The patient may experience no symptoms as the teeth are slowly detached from the supporting bone by the disease.
Other factors that predispose to Pyorrhea are, in general, any that injury gum, such as early loss of teeth with resulting malocclusion, drifting, food impaction, excessive forces on individual teeth during chewing, grinding of teeth during sleep, and ill-fitting restorations. More important than all of these is the failure of the patient to remove the debris from the neck of the teeth at the gum margin at least once every day.
False and True Pocketing:
The presence of inflammation of the gums and its associated swelling, if left untreated result in the formation of a ‘pocket’ between gum and tooth. In most cases of gingivitis this pocket is easily eliminated, since if oral hygiene is improved the swelling will go down and the pocket will disappear. Such pocketing associated with inflamed gums is often described as ‘false pocketing’. However, at a later stage, when the inflamed and swollen gum has become fibrous, even if the patient improves his oral hygiene the pocket will not disappear. At this stage ‘true pocketing’ begins to exist.
In periodontal disease, the pocketing provides a cozy protective zone in which bacteria can grow and plaque can accumulate virtually undisturbed. In this confined location plaque can cause a breakdown in the attachment between the oral epithelium – the supporting tissues – and the teeth.
Treatment of Pyorrhea gum disease:
Treatment for Pyorrhea is effective if started early enough. With extensive bone loss and tooth drifting, however, there is little that can be done to keep the teeth in the mouth. It is often advisable to remove all teeth so affected before before trying to save the remainder
Those with adequate bony support are treated by the dentist with root curettage. This term means the removal of the tarter deposits from the roots with curettes designed to reach between the hum and the tooth. Once the debris is removed, the patient must keep the area clean by brushing, flossing and rinsing.
Treatment of pyorrhea gum disease requires many appointments and much time. The dentist must gently search out deposits, curette them from the root surface and wait several days to see whether small pieces still lie hidden beneath the gum, and if the signs of inflammation, redness, swelling and pus formation still persist. In these areas, where curettage is ineffective, the gum is removed to eliminate the pocket in which the organisms thrive.
How to Prevent Pyorrhea gum disease at Home:
Pyorrhea is easier to prevent than to cure. Persons cannot prevent the formation of tartar at the necks of their teeth. With the best home care, it soon makes its appearance following eruption of the tooth. Effective prevention is the result of good teamwork between patient and doctor.
Gingivitis and periodontal disease can be prevented by good oral hygiene. If plaque is removed at least once a day, chronic gum disease will not become established. In order to do this a thorough brushing with a medium-hard toothbrush and use of dental floss are required. All surfaces of the teeth should be brushed moving the brush from the gums towards the teeth using several strokes on each group of teeth. Dental floss should be used to clean in between the teeth.
If, however, chronic gum disease has been ignored for too long, more drastic measures will then have to be taken.
The initial approach in periodontal treatment is the removal of deposits of calculus (tartar) and plaque by sealing and polishing techniques.
When there is an excessive amount of gum tissue present, this can in itself result in the formation of pockets adjacent to the teeth. Gingivectomy involves the cutting away of this excessive tissue.
Questions and Answers Related to Pyorrhea Gum Disease:
(1) Is Pyorrhea a disease of over-thirties?
Ans: Yes, periodontal disease, does take a long time to develop and a majority of people treated for this disease tend to be over thirty. It is interesting that the expression ‘long in the teeth’, which refers to age and degree of wisdom, has a strong connection with the subject of gum disease.
(2) Is Pyorrhea contagious?
Ans: Trench-mouth is a particularly unpleasant form of gingivitis associated with bacteria called Vincent’s organisms. It is characterized by tender, bleeding gums and later sores covered with a greyish membrane. Fever sometimes occurs and the breath has foul odor.
Pyorrhea may actually be contagious, at least during the most active period of infection. The reason is associated with serious illness is because in some people the microbes called Vincent’s organisms, which are usually kept in check in the mouth, gain the ascendency when physical resistance is lowered.
(3) I have been told that I have gum disease. If I have a gingivectomy will this enable me to keep my teeth?
Ans: In some cases a gingivectomy is required in the treatment of gum disease in order to remove an excessive amount of fibrous gum tissue. The main purpose of this procedure, however, is to facilitate good oral hygiene by removing pockets in which plaque can build up. In fact much of the surgical treatment for gum disease is performed simply to make oral hygiene easier to maintain.
(4) Can Pyorrhea be cured at home?
Ans: Pyorrhea is easier to prevent than to cure. Persons can prevent the formation of tartar at the necks of their teeth. With the best home care, it soon makes its appearance following eruption of the tooth. With proper home care like brushing, flossing as well as the good team work between patient and dentist may be the best result of the effective prevention.