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Periodontitis : More advanced gum disease is called periodontitis


More advanced gum disease is called periodontitis, and it can be graded as mild, moderate, or severe. If the gum area around the neck of your teeth is allowed to remain infected for too long, it can lose its elasticity. The collar that normally grips tightly around the tooth breaks away, opening up a space called a pocket. This pocket provides a protected home for bacteria and other mouth debris, which gradually move deeper into the pocket and force their way down the root of your tooth. The bacteria that live in a periodontal pocket are more aggressive than the kind normally found on teeth. Some of them create reactions in the adjacent gum tissues which can destroy the fibers that hold teeth inside the jaws. As these fibers are destroyed, the pocket increases in size and depth, making it ever more difficult to clean with just rinsing and toothbrushes.
Periodontitis becomes difficult to reverse once the pocket is too deep to reach with a toothbrush bristle to clean inside it. When a dentist measures the depth of a pocket around your teeth, he or she will be concerned as soon as a depth of four millimeters is reached. This is because four millimeters is the length of a toothbrush bristle. Although I do not recommend this, sometimes people try cleaning machines such as the Waterpik, which blasts a power spray into this pocket in an attempt to clean the deeper areas. Although most periodontal specialists will be skeptical, I suggest anyone with deep pockets try vigorous 2–3 minute rinsing with unflavored Closys, the first cleansing rinse in my complete mouth care system. I have heard of 10-millimeter pockets dramatically improving when all the parts of my system have been used conscientiously over a period of several months.
Damage can progress quickly once the bacteria of periodontitis start to multiply in pockets, gradually destroying more and more tooth-connecting fibers. Although people usually feel no pain at this stage, they may start to notice a bad taste in their mouth or have constant bad breath because food particles and infection also build up in the pocket. Some patients nevertheless do feel a dull, throbbing pain which is from inflammation and buildup of infection in the confined area of the tooth socket. Pressure from liquids and bacteria press on the jawbone and may gradually cause it to erode away, leaving the tooth without bony support. Abscesses and infection can make a tooth too sensitive for chewing. This kind of severe infection may progress to the end of the root. At this stage the disease is terminal for a tooth. Sadly, in most cases this pain and suffering could have been avoided or arrested and reversed if adequately treated during the first stages of gingivitis, when the gums were just slightly infected and simply bleeding.

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