As explained in our introduction to gum diseases, there are a variety of symptoms we should all be aware of that may point towards this common problem.
Ethnic variations notwithstanding, the color of gum tissue should generally be some shade of pink. The truth is this: aside from some sort of trauma, healthy gums do not bleed under any circumstances. Recession can result in dental sensitivity due to the roots, which aren’t protected by enamel, being exposed. No matter the cause, it is important to recognize receding gums as a symptom of disease and at least arrest its progression or it can result in tooth loss. If you are experiencing any noticeable change in the mobility or looseness of your teeth then you are well overdue for a dental visit. In advanced cases of gum disease the teeth can become loose and also shift position slightly.
There are various types of gum disease that can affect the fit and function of your dentures. Other types of gum disease (especially fungal infections such as “oral thrush”) can affect people who already wear full dentures. If your gums show any of the above symptoms then it is likely that you are suffering from some form of gum disease. Delaying treatment will only cause the necessary procedures to be MORE extensive and MORE expensive. Further reading: While there is absolutely no substitute for a professional examination of your mouth, this handy little tool will give a report on your risk of gum disease. Pericoronitis is an inflammation of the gum tissues that cover the chewing surface of molars that have not fully come into the mouth.
The most common cause of pericoronitis is food, bacteria, or plaque trapped beneath the gum flap.
In addition, if the upper molar comes fully through before the lower molar, the upper tooth may bite down on the lower gum flap, worsening the condition. Ita€™s important to treat pericoronitis because if ita€™s left untreated, a much more serious infection can spread to the neck and cheeks. To treat pericoronitis, we must thoroughly remove plaque and bacteria from the affected tooth and rinse around and under the gum flap. Homecare may include rinsing your mouth with warm salt water or an antimicrobial mouthwash.
Tooth abscess refers to localized collection of pus in the alveolar bone at the root apex of the tooth. Chronic alveolar Abscess: Due to long standing, low grade infection of the periradicular bone, chronic alveolar abscess develops. Drainage can be established through the tooth’s pulp chamber or the associated gingiva. Regular brushing, flossing along with regular dental check ups can prevent tooth decay and dental abscess.
Once the dental abscess has ruptured or been drained, the prognosis is good for resolution. Black hairy tongue is a condition which sounds alarming and gross, but is actually quite harmless and often goes unnoticed. The “hairy” appearance is due to the minute protuberances on the tongue surface called papillae becoming somewhat elongated. They can, however turn yellow, green, brown, or black depending on the types of food and drink consumed and the organisms which get involved in over-proliferation forming a coating or plaque on the tongue surface. Often the condition goes quite unnoticed and this is in fact why it can occur in the first place, since many of us don’t bother to clean or check our tongue when we clean our teeth.
A common fungus involved is Candida which likes warm, moist parts of the body in order to grow, and if it really takes hold it can cause irritation of the skin, the tongue or the lining of the mouth causing redness and a burning sensation. The most common cause is basically lack of adequate oral hygiene where plaque collects on the teeth surfaces and can also accumulate on the back of the tongue, where it remains often relatively undisturbed. Smoking is an important contributory factor in the condition since it encourages tongue discoloration and depletes supplies of saliva in the mouth, so allowing more bacteria to proliferate. Drinking insufficient fluid can lead to dehydration which similarly encourages bacteria in the mouth to multiply.
Drinking lots of tea or coffee seems to encourage discoloration of the accumulating plaque. Antibiotic therapy, especially if prolonged, can upset the normal balance of various micro-organisms in the mouth, allowing less desirable ones to proliferate.

Taking certain medicines such as those containing bismuth, overdoing it with certain mouthwashes, or being unable to produce sufficient amounts of saliva as in Sjogren’s syndrome can also predispose to developing a hairy black tongue.
Radiation therapy in the head and neck region for cancer treatment or a poor immune system are possible contributory factors.
You should also drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep hydrated and help keep your mouth clean and discourage plaque formation. A diet which minimizes soft foods and contains more fresh fruit and raw vegetables is a good idea to also help keep dental plaque at bay. A hairy tongue should usually be back to normal within a few weeks with careful daily oral hygiene measures including mechanical brushing or scraping, but if the condition doesn’t resolve it’s best to see your dentist.
Anyone who suffers from black hairy tongue should eradicate any existing predisposing factors as described and be sure to gently but firmly clean the top of the tongue – reaching as far back as possible, on a daily basis.
At this point, the stippling is no longer visible and a smooth, shiny and swollen appearance can be observed. We put the previous sentence in all caps because it is very common for people to be in denial about the state of their gum health. It is not always present but when it is, it is always a result of infection and can cause strong malodors and even bad tastes. It is possible for some pain upon brushing or flossing to be present during the early to moderate stages of gum disease but it may not be present in advanced or severe cases. In the case of partial dentures, it is possible for the remaining natural supportive teeth to become loose as a result of gum disease and therefore undermine the stability of the partial. Certain home care regimens along with routine visits to your dentist can help monitor and control the outbreak of these types of infections. Don’t worry, you are not alone; the American Academy of Periodontology estimates that over 50% of American adults are in the same condition. You may also have a bad taste, pus or odor in your mouth, or difficulty opening your mouth wide.
As the molar begins coming in, part of the tooth remains covered by a flap of gum tissue, making it very easy for food and bacteria to get trapped beneath the flap.
To prevent pericoronitis from reoccurring, we may surgically remove or reshape the gum around the tooth, or even extract the tooth. In case of abscess, the infection extends from the root apex to the periradicular tissue through the apical foramen.
Chances of dehydration are more in children especially when they are not eating because of pain and inflammation.
It will help the dentist to know whether it would be feasible to save the tooth by the endodontic procedure like root canal therapy or it has to be removed. Phoenix abscess is associated with a non-vital tooth and has symptoms similar to acute infection.
In some cases, when abscess is not treated, complications may occur due to spreading bacterial infection.
It refers to the top of the tongue, towards the back usually, becoming darkened with a coating which actaully can be yellowish, brownish, or black.
This seems to happen because the surface cells are not being periodically shed as they normally would.
The papillae are concerned with our sensation of taste and are normally barely noticeable on the surface, because their color is the same as the rest of the tongue. It can sometimes be noticed by chance, or by examining the tongue as a result of a metallic taste in the mouth or because of a bad breath problem. It is essential to carefully remove all the sticky plaque from all surfaces of all the teeth by thorough tooth-brushing and dental flossing, followed by brushing or scraping the back of the tongue to remove the superficial film.
It is important for anyone who smokes to quit, because the tars in tobacco smoke are incredibly sticky and likely to encourage plaque formation on teeth and soft tissues. Sometimes a prescription of topical medications or oral antifungal drugs may be necessary, and in extreme cases the papillae can be treated with laser or electrosurgical procedures.
This does not harm the tongue but simply removes the unpleasant coating and allows the surface to get back to normal again. However, in general, the redder the gums get the more likely it is to indicate that severe infection is present. This is called ‘stippling’; it is how healthy gums maintain a strong connection to the skin layers below the surface and ultimately to the jawbone.
Many people try to rationalize their bleeding gums by saying, “My gums always bleed when I brush and floss” or “It’s normal to have a little bleeding when eating hard crunchy foods”. In many instances the pus may be deep below the gum tissue and only visible after manual pressure is applied to the area, making it one of the more difficult symptoms to identify.

So, if painful gums suddenly start feeling better do not assume that this is a sign of improvement.
Chronic mouth sores can be a symptom of gum disease but may be a sign of more serious problems and should be evaluated ASAP! However, if your loved ones consistently complain about bad breath which cannot be improved by brushing, mouthwash or chewing gum, then it may be a sign of “perio breath”. In turn, the trauma caused by this condition can exponentially increase the rate of bone loss.
Conversely, it is possible that an ill-fitting partial can exert enough pressure on a supportive natural tooth for it to become loose and therefore more vulnerable to gum infection. This means that any infection present in the oral cavity drains into your vital organs via the blood stream, lymph system and interstitial space. The good news is that modern dental treatments are very successful at identifying and treating the problem. If the swelling is not fluctuant, moist heat in the form of hot saline mouth rinse should be applied until the swelling becomes fluctuant. For reassessment of infection and taking care of tooth, it is mandatory to have proper follow-up care with your dentist. A severe tooth abscess may cause perforation of the bone and affect the soft tissue becoming cellulitis and osteomyelitis. The elongated papillae trap food debris and inevitably bacteria collect and proliferate in this plaque, often along with certain types of fungi such as yeasts. Sometimes there may be a tickling sensation at the back of the mouth or a tendency to gag easily.
In addition regular smoking upsets the normal mouth “flora” of various harmless bacteria and allows more harmful ones to take hold.
When gums become infected, the stippling disappears because the body starts to introduce additional fluids to the area (such as blood) to help eradicate the invading bacteria. That is to say, there are some 100 year olds with no recession and there are some 20-somethings with severe recession.
There is a small band of gum tissue connecting the tooth to the jaw called the “periodontal ligament” or PDL for short. This is a unique malodor that results from the anaerobic bacteria responsible for gum disease. This is an extreme condition and needs professional attention immediately to prevent tooth loss. Frequent maintenance is essential for denture patients who want to avoid further loss of teeth thus resulting in the need for new partial dentures or perhaps even full dentures.
Because of this connection, untreated gum disease can negatively affect and in some cases even play a causal role in other health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, respiratory diseases, some cancers and many more systemic diseases.
Once the infection is addressed (often times with a combination of dental treatments and medications) then it is up to you to maintain it with excellent home care and frequent hygiene appointments (usually every 90 days). Osteomyelitis is bone infection and occurs as a result of bacteria present in dental abscess spreading through the bloodstream.
If your gums are sick then this important ligament may become weak or even begin to detach completely. Would you believe your doctor when they tell you that it can complicate or even cause other health problems? Gum or gingival abscess is due to the trauma or infection to the surface of gum tissue and periodontal abscesses is the result of an infection that has moved deeper into the gum area. At this point the teeth become loose or mobile – as the professionals say – and tooth loss is imminent.
Since these areas cannot effectively be cleansed with home care methods it is necessary to see a dentist in order to resolve it. The truth is that most people would seek immediate medical treatment if it was just their little finger that was infected, much less their whole hand.
Pericoronal abscess is seen near the incompletely erupted teeth and occurs due to plaque induced inflammation of pericoronal flap that is pericoronitis.

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