Periodontal disease is an infection that affects the tissues and bone that support the teeth.
Periodontal diseases range from gum inflammation to more serious issues that cause major damage to the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth. As the disease progresses the teeth may fall out or need to be removed.
Periodontal disease has been linked to heart disease and stroke. Diabetics are frequently associated with various gum conditions.
CAUSES: A sticky film called plaque contains bacteria that produce toxins. If teeth are not cleaned well, the toxins can irritate tissues and inflame gums. Once the gums are inflamed, they pull away from the teeth and leave a space called a pocket. The bacteria now have a home. If the plaque is not removed it will harden (tarter) and have to be removed professionally.
TREATMENT: Periodontal treatment methods depend on the severity of the disease. If the disease is caught early, you may simply require a professional cleaning. Specialized cleaning or periodontal surgery may have to be done if the disease has progressed.
TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder) is a condition that can have a range of symptoms, from mild to severe. These include pain in or around the ears, clicking or popping noises in the jaw, difficulty opening or closing your mouth, and frequent headaches and neck pain. More serious conditions include improperly aligned joints, dislocated jaws, or various arthritic conditions within the joint.
CAUSES: Grinding or clenching of the teeth can lead to this. A misaligned bite or traumatic injury can contribute to this.
TREATMENT: TMD disorders are often managed, rather than cured. This can be done by using muscle relaxants, aspirin, or wearing a small plastic appliance made for this particular disorder. More serious forms of this disorder can require jaw surgery.
Bruxism is a habit of grinding or clenching the teeth. While some may view it as ultimately harmless, it can lead to symptoms like headaches, frequent toothaches, a sore jaw, tongue indentations, and can severely damage your teeth over long periods of time.
CAUSES: Among other causes, stress and anxiety can contribute to excessive teeth grinding.
TREATMENT: stress reduction methods, protective niteguard, tongue exercises, education relating to causes and prevention, orthodontics and restorative dentistry.