Improper oral healthcare can lead to a buildup of bacteria in the mouth, which in turn can cause gum disease. The mild gum disease gingivitis is easy to treat with a dentist-provided teeth cleaning and improved oral healthcare. But if gingivitis is left untreated for a long period of time, the level of gum disease and associated symptoms can continue to progress.
Sometimes preexisting medical conditions can also cause gum disease or help advance a bacterial-born disease. With necrotizing periodontal disease, the gum disease has advanced to the point that the gum tissue and underlying bone begin to die. This disease is more common in people with malnutrition or systemic diseases such as HIV or diabetes.
There are a few forms of necrotizing periodontal disease and each has its own symptoms and potential treatments.
Necrotizing Ulcerative Gingivitis
Also called NUG, this form of gingivitis is sometimes thought to be contagious because it can occur in a large group of people at the same time. It's not actually contagious, but people sharing similar habits – the stress of a large work project, sharing smoking breaks, etc. – can all develop symptoms at the same time.
The primary symptoms of NUG include redness and swelling of the gums that are telltale signs of any periodontal disease. But NUG will also include signs of tissue death between the teeth, extremely bad breath and potential lymph node swelling.
When caught early, NUG can be treated with antibiotics and a procedure called debridement, which involves the dentist cutting away the dead tissue so that the healthy tissue has a chance to regenerate.
Necrotizing Ulcerative Periodontitis
Also called NUP, this progression of NUG begins to eat away the ligaments that attach the teeth to the jawbone. This can lead to loose teeth and eventually to teeth that fall out.
Treatment will typically involve antibiotics, debridement and potential dental replacements for teeth that need to be extracted or that fall out.
Necrotizing stomatitis spreads the disease-related decay down to the junction between the jawbone and the supporting roof or floor of the mouth. This can cause both tooth and jawbone necrosis as well as killing some of the bone in that supporting structure.
The treatment can depend on the systemic disease underlying the stomatitis. But bone grafts, debridement and dental replacements combined with antibiotics and close monitoring are all potential treatments.
If you begin to notice any changes in your gums, it's important to see a dentist as quickly as possible. Even if it turns out to be a mild case of gingivitis, early treatment can prevent any further pain or potential damage. If you have a systemic disease, it's vital to keep up with regular dental appointments and to report any changes immediately.Share
14 April 2015
Last year, my dentist told me that the last of my natural teeth had to go. At that point, we began to talk about the pros and cons associated with dentures and with dental implants. After learning more about each option, I decided to go with the implants. I did make the decision that is right for me. While it took a few months for everything to be in place, they have been great. I find them easy to care for, and people don't know that my teeth aren't real unless I choose to tell them. If you are facing a similar decision, let me help. I'll explain why I chose the implants and how things worked out for me. That will help you come up with the decision that will be the right one for you.