Learn the Meanings of Common Dental Terminology

Archive for oral hygiene

Gingivitis

This is a disease of the gums. Plaque is material that forms on teeth that traps bacteria on the tooth causing it to breakdown and decay. At the base of the tooth hard deposits called tartar which also have bacteria trapped in will irritate the gums causing inflammation and infection.

Most everyone has some degree of gingivitis as it can be caused by illness, poor hygiene, hormonal chains or diabetes. If you brush your teeth hard enough to cause your gums to bleed or if you have braces there is a good chance that you may need to consider steps to reduce your gingivitis.

Teeth cleaning from your dentist will help remove plaque. Increased attention to oral hygiene and the use of antibacterial mouth wash will help gums heal and keep gingivitis from getting out of control and causing more serious periodontal disease.

Periodontitis

Sometimes confused with Gingivitis, however, gingivitis happens before periodontitis. Periodontitis is severe and is a result of untreated gingivitis. Gums become inflamed and or infected which will deteriorate the support for the teeth.

Plaque and tartar buildup and contain bacteria that can be trapped in pockets of swelling tissue. This will eventually cause the destruction of gum, bone and ligament tissue. A tooth abscess may also develop.

Gums will appear red-purple and swollen. Often a bad breath odor accompanies peritontitis. Gums may be tender but not necessarily painful. Blood on toothbrush is often a sign that some stage of periodontitis is occurring.

Left untreated will cause tooth loss and possible infection to the jaw bone.

Depending on the severity, surgery may be necessary to repair gums and loose teeth.  After correcting gum and tooth structure a long with the removal of plaque and calculus deposits a meticulous oral hygiene regimen is needed to prevent further deterioration.