Plaque contains micro-organism s which causes tooth decay, gum and periodontal infection. These bacteria’s stick to the teeth and then multiply causing tooth decay on the enamel. They are also responsible for the destruction of the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth by causing periodontal inflammations.
Gingivitis occurs when there is a presence of inflammation located only on the gums. The gums appear to be reddish and slightly swollen. They will bleed easily when brushing and flossing. The bacteria that form in plaque are the primary cause of gingivitis and gum disease. To prevent it ’s effect, patient s must apply regular dental hygiene. Plaque that is not removed by regular brushing and flossing hardens into tartar that only a dental health professional can remove.
When the infection spreads from the gums to the bone and other deeper structures that support the teeth, it is called periodontis. It can be benign, moderate or advanced depending on how severe the bone destruction is.
The bacteria’s present in plaque produces toxins, and it’s these toxins combined with the body’s reaction to them that destroys bone around the teeth.
The gum attachment forms a crevice or space between the gum and the teeth. The crevices if deeper then 3 millimeters are then called pockets. The dept h of it can be measured with a probe. As the pocket size increases, so does the severity of the disease. The dentist or hygienist m ust evaluate how advance d the disease is in order to choose the right treatment plan in each case.
Eventually, if the bone los s continues, teeth get loose and have to be removed.
Many elements can predispose certain patient s into developing gum disease or promote its progression. These elements can have a direct or indirect impact on gums tissues. They can be related to:
Dental conditions: irregularity in the tooth structure, in its contour or position.
Dental hygiene: Negligence can promote the accumulation of plaque which causes infections.
Use of tobacco: The accumulation of tartar and stain is higher with patients, who smoke, especially cigarette,
Individual characteristic: Self cleansing mechanism and psychological condition of the patient. Stress is known to be a factor that can cause gingivitis.
Fear and anxiety are also proven to lower the saliva flow, which is a natural self cleansing element.
Severe dry mouth can also affect the conditions of the gums tissues.
Plaque is the sticky film of food and bacteria that forms constantly on the teeth. If the plaque is not removed, it builds up and mineralizes to become tartar. It can appear on natural or porcelain teeth, on denture s or any other dental appliance.
It ’s presence is the main factor that causes inflammation of the teeth surrounding tissues. The surface of the tooth becomes rugged, especially near the gum line, causing it ’s inflammation. This is why patients should have good dental hygiene and remove the plaque daily and combine it with a professional cleaning to remove possible tartar build up.
The formation of tartar can occur at any age. The time it takes to form can vary among each individual. The average time is 12 days. Patients who form tarter rapidly can develop it as fast as 10 day s, others can take up to 20 days.
Keep in mind that this time frame can be influence by all of the precaution patients take to prevent tartar from forming. The mineralization of the plaque can take as little as 24 to 48 hours.
Tartar that builds up under the gum line will cause a pocket that can lead to periodontal disease.
The simple action of removing tartar build up will help to keep the dental surface smooth, helping patient to maintain their teeth cleaner by brushing and flossing.
A complete examination will help us determine if you are affected with gum disease and determine it ’s severity. We can then plan a personalize d program to prevent and treat your gums according to it ’s evolution.
Remember that in most cases patients are not aware they have gum disease because it is rarely painful, especially in the early stages.