Gum Disease

(Periodontal Disease)
(Periodontitis)

Etiology: Any abnormality, inflammatory or degenerative, of the tissue around a tooth. (Periodontal means located around a tooth) The term refers to any disorder of the gums or other supporting structures of the teeth.

Periodontitis is the inflammation or degeneration, or both, of the dental periosteum, alveolar bone, cementum, and adjacent gingiva. Suppuration ususally occurs, supporting bone is resorbed, teeth become loose, and recession of gingivae occurs. Usually follows chronic gingivitis, Vincent's infection, or poor dental hygiene.

CAUSES: Gingivitis is considered to be an early stage of periodontal disease caused by sticky deposits of bacteria, mucus, and food particles called placque. Some researchers believe this placque causes the gum to become infected and swollen, and bleed. As the gum swells, it forms a pocket between the teeth, causing a trap for more plaque. The gum becomes red, soft, and shiny. Other possible causes of gingivitis include breathing through the mouth, badly fitting fillings irritating surrounding gum tissue, and a diet consisting of too many soft foods that rob the teeth and gums of much needed exercise.

Left untreated, gingivitis can lead to a condition called pyorrhea (periodontitis). Pyorrhea is an advanced stage of periodontal disease and is often related to a deficiency of vitamin C, bioflavonoids, calcium, folic acid, or niacin. The infection of pyorrhea causes halitosis (bad breath), with painful and bleeding gums, slowly eating away the jaw bone. Abscesses are common. Severe cases will require surgery to remove the infected tissue from the gum and reshape the bone.

Causes of pyorrhea include: poor nutrition, improper brushing, wrong foods, sugar, chronic illness, glandular disorders, blood disease, smoking, drugs, and excessive alcohol.

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CONSIDERATIONS:

Diabetes and several kinds of blood disorders put the sufferer at high risk for developing gum disease.

Rubbing clove oil or using ice on the tooth will help until the dentist can be reached.

A varied diet of fresh fruits, green leafy vegetables, meat, and whole grain bread will provide the teeth and gums with needed exercise and supply the body with the vitamins and minerals that are essential for dental health.

Cherokees chewed the root of the naked-flowered tick-trefoil for inflammation of the mouth, sore bleeding gums, periodontal diseases with pus discharge.

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