Question: I’ve recently been told I have the beginning signs of Pyoria. I’m quite upset about it….I brush at least 2 times a day and floss daily. Please help me clear this up. I always thought this was a disease only people with poor dental hygiene got. I need to enhance my knowledge. Please let me know. Sincerly, Judith E. Hatcher
Answer: Bacterial plaque – a sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on the teeth – is recognized as the primary cause of gum disease. Specific periodontal diseases may be associated with specific bacterial types. If plaque isn’t removed each day by brushing and flossing, it hardens into a rough, porous substance called calculus (also known as tartar). Toxins (poisons) produced and released by bacteria in plaque irritate the gums. These toxins cause the breakdown of the fibers that hold the gums tightly to the teeth, creating periodontal pockets which fill with even more toxins and bacteria. As the disease progresses, pockets extend deeper and the bacteria moves down until the bone that holds the tooth in place is destroyed. The tooth eventually will fall out or require extraction.
Signs include red, swollen or tender gums, bleeding while brushing or flossing, gums that pull away from teeth, loose or separating teeth, puss between the gum and tooth, persistent bad breath, change in the way teeth fit together when the patient bites, and a change in the fit of partial dentures. While patients are advised to check for the warning signs, there might not be any discomfort until the disease has spread to a point where the tooth is unsalvageable. That’s why patients are advised to get frequent dental exams
In the early stages, most treatment involves scaling and root planing-removing plaque and calculus around the tooth and smoothing the root surfaces. Antibiotics or antimicrobials may be used to supplement the effects of scaling and root planing. In most cases of early gum disease, called gingivitis, scaling and root planing and proper daily cleaning achieve a satisfactory result. Removing plaque through daily brushing, flossing and professional cleaning is the best way to minimize your risk. We also recommend the showerfloss www.showerfloss.com. This device is used to provide a constant stream of water between the teeth. This powerful stream of water actually penetrates deeper than floss to maintain healthy gums and teeth.
Other factors that increase risk include a diet low in nutrients that can diminish the body’s ability to fight infection. Smokers and spit tobacco users have more irritation to gum tissues than non-tobacco users, while stress can also affect the ability to ward off disease. Diseases that interfere with the body’s immune system, such as leukemia and AIDS, may worsen the condition of the gums. In patients with uncontrolled diabetes, where the body is more prone to infection, gum disease is more severe or harder to control.
For more information and to have your questions answered please call us at (586) 247-1212 or visit our website at www.TheGentleDentist.com. We are located in Shelby Township, Michigan.