What is pyorrhea?
Pyorrhea is an older term that used to refer to any kind of gum disease or periodontal disease. In common usage today it generally refers to an advanced stage of periodontal disease known as periodontitis. It is at this stage that the ligaments and bone that support the teeth become inflamed and infected. In most cases it is a result of gingivitis that plaque buildup infects the gums, and can drive a literal wedge between the tooth and gum line. Once these pockets form they can trap food particles that will feed bacteria that is also trapped in them. These pockets can go so deep that they can begin to erode the supporting bone structure and lead to tooth loss. In fact, bone loss from pyorrhea is the primary cause of tooth loss in adults.
Signs of pyorrhea
Early symptoms of pyorrhea are similar to the symptoms of gingivitis, and include visible changes in the gums. The onset of the disease is marked by bleeding of the gums. As it progresses, the gums recede from the teeth, loosening of the teeth occurs, and the bone structure that supports the teeth can begin to erode. As gum pockets deepen and the jawbone recedes away from the roots of the teeth, the pockets will begin to discharge pus as their infections worsen. The condition can be made worse by increased stress, poor nutrition, poor oral hygiene, and loose or poorly fitting dentures.
Signs and symptoms to be aware of are:
- Inflammation of the gums
- Loosening of teeth
- Gum pockets
- Pus discharge from pockets
- Mouth ulcers
- Receding gums
- Bone erosion
Progression of pyorrhea
|• Discoloration of the gums (darker red instead of healthy pink)||• Gums begin to recede
• Pockets form
• Bleeding occurs
|• Gums pull further away
• Pockets deepen
• Supporting bone is attacked
|• Severe recession of gums
• Severe bone loss
• Severe tooth decay takes place
Dangers of pyorrhea
It is estimated that 80% of the population has some form of gum disease. It has been a long held belief that periodontal disease was just a dental disease, affecting only the teeth and gums. While it’s true that periodontal disease may originate in the mouth, it is now known that periodontitis is a very serious disease, affecting the entire body and increasing risk of numerous other adverse health effects. The advanced stage of pyorrhea puts those suffering from it at an even higher increased risk for things such as:
- Increased risk of heart attack by as much as 25%
- Increased risk of stroke by a factor of 10
- Problems controlling both type I and type II diabetes
- Respiratory disease
- Pancreatic cancer
- Premature births
- Underweight newborns
- Digestive disorders
What causes pyorrhea?
Pyorrhea is usually a result of gingivitis, a periodontal disease that infects the gum through plaque. This leads to the formation of a pocket between the teeth that trap plaque and food particles. While primarily related to bacteria in th mouth, there are other outside causes for this condition. Things like poor eating habits, excess white bread, sugar, and red meat can contribute. Also, injuries to the gum and supporting structures from improper use of floss or toothpicks, incorrect brushing, physical and chemical irritation of mouth tissues, allergies, and even pregnancy can play parts in the origins of this disease. Some studies suggest that there are also links from chronic illnesses, glandular disorders, blood diseases, and general unhealthy lifestyles. As in most conditions, use of tobacco, alcohol, and drugs will generally make it worse.
How to prevent pyorrhea
Keep in consideration that plaque can form on teeth as quickly as four hours after you brush. Since bacteria and plaque are the main causes of this condition, the best method of prevention of pyorrhea or any periodontal condition is implementing a good oral hygiene program, and staying away from the commercial products that can increase bacteria growth.
Here are some things you can do to prevent pyorrhea and periodontal disease:
- Brush your teeth twice a day
- Gargle twice a day
- Floss every day
- Don’t use tobacco products
- Visit the dentist routinely for a check-up and professional cleaning (recommended every 6 months)
These measures however, are effective only above and slightly below the gum line. Once periodontal disease develops, more intensive treatments are needed.
Treatment of pyorrhea
The main goal of the treatment is to control the infection, and if possible, stop it. The road to recovery may take several months, even if it can be attained. Here are some suggestions:
- The first step is to implement a good oral hygiene program, but in most cases this will not be enough. Especially if you have pockets.
- Stopping tobacco use will help improve your chances for a successful outcome.
- Professional teeth cleaning from your dentist every 6 months.
- Your dentist may recommend a deep cleaning (root planning and scaling). This is a painful dental procedure that scrapes the plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line. Root planning gets rid of the rough spots on the tooth root where the bacteria gather.
- Use a strong bacteria fighter that can get into the pockets and kill the bacteria.
Cost of pyorrhea
What to do about it
As we’ve discussed, the most important thing to do to correct pyorrhea before it is too far gone is to implement a solid oral hygiene program. If you’re already doing that and still suffering, it may very well be due to the chemical laden products you’re using. Combining good oral hygiene with a natural product that will eliminate the bacteria which cause the problems may be the answer to a number of these problems.
Did it ever occur to you that the least expensive and least painful option might be found in nature? Why not try a great product that provides natural relief?