Gum pockets - Prevent inflammation and tooth loss early!
Gum pockets - the risk of bacterial inflammation for teeth and general health
When gum pockets form, the patient suffers from periodontitis. This is an inflammation of the gums. If left untreated, this leads to the loss of healthy teeth. The first signs of an incipient gingivitis are bleeding gums and a slight burning sensation when brushing teeth. This can lead to gingivitis, which is accompanied by bad breath and increased bleeding of the gums. If this inflammation remains untreated, gum pockets populated by bacteria form. The main risk of tooth loss is not caries, but undetected and untreated periodontitis.
Causes and risks of gingival pockets
Bacteria live in the oral cavity of every human being. If they do not take over, they are harmless and quite normal. However, if they multiply explosively, for example due to improper or inadequate oral hygiene, the bacteria attack the periodontium. The body reacts with an inflammation called gingivitis. At this time, the inflammation is still easily treatable and no gum pockets have formed. The body activates its self-healing powers and wants to fight the germs in the gums. For this purpose it breaks down infected tissue, creating dangerous gum pockets filled with bacteria. The gingivitis phase is over at this point and the patient suffers from periodontitis, which is often chronic. Soft and hard plaque promotes periodontitis and is the main cause of tooth loss. Regular visits to the dentist, periodic professional tooth cleaning (PZR) and the removal of tartar can prevent gum pockets and the incipient inflammation of the periodontium can be successfully treated by early detection.
Gum pockets: painless, but not symptom-free
In most patients, a mild inflammation of the gums turns into a severe periodontitis, unnoticed and painless. Smokers in particular notice the symptoms only to a limited extent or not at all, as the main symptom of inflammation of the gums, gum bleeding, is absent. In principle, sensitive teeth, visible tooth necks and blood should be immediately combined with an appointment for prophylaxis when brushing. Even if the gums do not hurt, they do not heal by themselves and must be meticulously cleaned by the dentist. Besides the already mentioned symptoms, an unpleasant taste and bad breath, the loosening of the teeth or loss of teeth and a visible swelling of the gums indicate gum pockets. To determine the extent of the infection, the dentist will measure the depth of the pockets. The bacteria are then removed from the gum pockets and, if necessary, a local treatment with antibiotic threads is carried out. It is worth knowing that the risk of periodontitis does not remain in the oral cavity. Gum pockets are considered increased risk factors for diabetes mellitus, erectile dysfunction and kidney disease as well as heart attacks and strokes. Only an immediate and careful treatment can reduce the dangers of periodontitis and protect the affected person from tooth loss and other health risks.
Prevention is the best method against gum pockets
If the inflammation has already developed, long-term treatment is necessary. However, periodontitis can be prevented by paying the greatest attention to oral hygiene. Dental care with a toothbrush alone is not enough. Dental floss or interdental brushes as well as a tongue scraper should also be used daily. Whether you clean electrically or manually makes no difference with regard to the risk of gum pockets. It is important, however, that regular visits to the dentist are taken as prophylaxis. The removal of tartar should be carried out twice a year and preferably combined with a PZR. Smokers and coffee-drinkers are usually ordered more frequently for PZR, since plaque hardens more quickly and deposits form on the teeth. Parodontitis that has already broken out cannot be cured. However, the risk of tooth loss can be avoided by excluding the progression of inflammation and keeping the oral cavity clean.
The treatment of gum pockets is covered by the health insurance companies if the chances of success are good. After the diagnosis, the dentist prepares a treatment and cost plan, which is presented to the health insurance company. The treatment, which is made up of three stages, only begins after approval of the assumption of costs. In order to prevent the periodontal disease from progressing, the gum pockets are cleaned and the inflamed tissue is removed. The follow-up treatment excludes a new inflammation of the gums.
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