The human oral cavity is home to more than 500 different types of bacteria, mostly harmless but which can become dangerous when they multiply uncontrollably and a biofilm (plaque) form. The bacteria can only multiply in an uncontrolled manner if the teeth are not brushed correctly.
Caries (dental cavities) and periodontal diseases, such as gingivitis and periodontitis, are among the most common diseases worldwide and over 95% of the population in developed countries are affected. From the age of 35, more teeth are lost through inflammatory diseases of the periodontium than through tooth decay and its consequences.
Structure of the tooth support system
The periodontium consists of the gums, the jawbone, the root surface of the teeth, and the very fine fibers that connect the tooth and bone. The teeth are not firmly attached to the bone, but rather are suspended by the thin fibers in the jawbone.
In periodontal disease, bacteria attack these fibers causing inflammation, which manifests itself as an inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) and which can bleed when irritated.
What are gingivitis and periodontitis?
Most patients associate a visit to the dentist with tooth decay, but gum disease is also common. An estimated 80% of adults have gum disease and its first sign can be inflamed and bleeding gums.
- Gingivitis is a common and mild form of gum disease (periodontal disease) that causes irritation, redness, and swelling (inflammation) of the gingiva, the part of the gum around the base of the teeth. Gingivitis can lead to much more serious gum disease called periodontitis and tooth loss. The most common cause of gingivitis is poor oral hygiene.
- Periodontitis is common but preventable. Periodontitis is an inflammation of the teeth holding apparatus (or gums) caused by bacteria. It usually arises from a “simple” initial inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) but goes beyond that and affects not only the gums but also the other components of the periodontium. At an advanced stage, it can damage the jawbone and the tooth can lose its hold and may need to be removed.
Inflammation of the gums, a creeping danger to your teeth!
Plaque is one of the most common causes of gum inflammation. When plaque builds up, bacteria attach to the surface of the teeth and can multiply quickly in the spaces between them. Bacterial deposits secrete toxic metabolic products and if these get into the gums, inflammation occurs.
Gum inflammation can also develop by tartar. Tartar is a dental plaque in which minerals have been deposited. No bacteria live in tartar. Its surface is rough and irritates the gums. Deposits quickly form on the rough surface. Tartar can also form under the gums. It is then no longer close to the tooth so that germs get into the gap between the tooth and the gum. If the entire periodontium is affected, the gum inflammation can lead to inflammation of the periodontium. This inflammation is called periodontal disease. In the worst case, it can lead to tooth loss.
Causes of periodontal disease
Periodontitis has different causes. Most of the time there is not a single cause responsible for the onset of the disease. However, bacterial deposits are always involved. The bacteria always cause inflammation of the gums.
In some cases, this gum inflammation persists. But if poor oral hygiene and other triggers come together, periodontal disease can break out. The most common causes include:
- Weakened immune system
- Lifestyle / Smoking
- Inflammation of the gums (gingivitis)
- Genetic diseases (Down syndrome, Crohn’s disease, …)
- Hormonal changes (menopause)
- General diseases (rheumatism, diabetes mellitus, …)
- Bacterial plaque with poor oral hygiene
- Genetic predisposition
Not everyone who has poor oral hygiene will also develop periodontal disease. Often, the immune system can fight the bacteria and prevent the inflammation from spreading. It is therefore believed that genetic predisposition is a decisive factor.
Symptoms of periodontal disease
The chronic inflammation of the periodontium is usually painless. That is why it is often discovered late. Early symptoms include bleeding gums and recurring gum infections. These symptoms are often absent in smokers because nicotine reduces blood flow to the gums.
Other symptoms can be sensitive teeth. They occur when the gums recede, and the sensitive tooth necks are exposed. Advanced periodontal disease can lead to bad breath, a purulent taste, tooth loosening, and loss.
The symptoms of periodontal disease at a glance:
- exposed tooth necks due to receding gums
- Bleeding gums
- unpleasant taste / smell
- Tooth loosening
- Tooth loss
- Shrinkage of the jawbone
- Swelling of the gums
In addition to the inflammatory processes in the mouth, periodontal disease also has general health risks where bacteria can spread throughout the body with sometimes serious consequences.
What helps against gum pockets formation?
As with any disease, prevention is key. If you want to prevent gum inflammation, you should maintain good oral hygiene. Thorough oral hygiene is a must to remove plaque. Bacteria live in plaque and cause gingivitis and tooth decay.
Also, gums should be cleaned, and brushing your teeth is not enough. To clean the gums between the teeth, dental floss or interdental brushes should be used daily. Also, it is important to include a mouthwash in your oral care routine. Some mouthwashes, in addition to freshening the breath, help prevent gingivitis.
New defense against gum disease
BMG Pharma has introduced a product range in the fight against gum disease for prevention and also maintenance after professional treatment by a dentist.
This product range branded as Perhyal includes a rinse and a gel. Perhyal Rinse and Perhyal Gums are both alcohol-free and protect areas that the dentist checks most.
In addition to helping with the prevention of gum inflammation, bleeding, swelling, retractions, and gum pockets formation, thanks to their unique formulation based on Ialuvance Complex™, they help prevent complications and other tissue trauma after the dental procedures performed for the treatment of this disease.
The hyaluronic acid present in the Perhyal formulations is a key constituent of connective tissue, particularly abundant in the gums: it has high moisturizing properties and plays a key role in each phase of tissue repair, and provides a protective barrier over wounds and inflamed areas.
Perhyal Rinse and Perhyal Gums form a protective film that adheres to the oral mucosa preventing further irritations, acting against external agents, and preventing oral infections.
A 30-seconds use of Perhyal products:
- Decreases the level of bleeding
- Gives immediate pain relief
- Contribute to creating a microbiologically controlled environment and prevents bacterial infections.
- Promote the natural healing process
- Prevent plaque onset
The Perhyal range is ideal for keeping the correct oral hygiene and can be used for longer periods than chlorhexidine-based products, without tooth discoloration and side effects.
At the beginning of periodontitis, most patients first complain of inflamed gums (gingivitis). If gingivitis is left untreated or if it does not heal on its own, the inflammation spreads to the teeth supporting structures and Gingivitis turns into periodontitis.
The body tries to fight the inflammation and activates the immune system. The inflammatory cells now also attack the affected bone. The fibers between the bone and the tooth are also broken down. The gum pockets get deeper and deeper. If left untreated, it can lead to extreme bone loss with tooth loosening and tooth loss.
So, if you have inflamed gums and are concerned about gum pockets, make sure that you are keeping good oral hygiene and taking all the preventative steps. Also, make sure to visit your dentist for a full examination once or twice a year.