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Tooth Decay / Dental Caries

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Periodontitis, also known as pyorrhoea commonly, refers to the class group of inflammatory disorders diseases or ailments that have an effect on the periodontal tissues circumscribing the teeth. Every time we take meals, bacteria or microorganisms get lodged in the mouth and they gradually form a ‘plaque’ or a film around the teeth by combining with mucus.

Brushing your teeth regularly can help prevent plaque formation and flossing helps as well. On the contrary, irregular brushing can leave behind traces of plaque that hardens with time leading to ‘tartar’ also called calculus. Once tartar develops, you cannot get rid of it by simple brushing. You have to seek medical treatment particularly from a periodontist.

When deep seated plaque or tartar is left totally untreated, it leads to a condition called ‘gingivitis’ where the gums get swollen causing them to bleed. Gingivitis is not a serious form of gum disease whose effects can be reversed through regular brushing, flossing and periodic scaling or root planning.

Gingivitis, if not treated in time, can lead to progressive forms of gum diseases such as periodontitis, which is damaging and more often the damages are permanent. The destructive forms or types are:
  • chronic and aggressive periodontitis
  • necrotizing periodontitis
  • systemic periodontitis (an indicator of some systemic disease like diabetes)
  • gangrenous or ulcerative periodontitis
  • periodontium abscesses or gum-boils

The aggressive or destructive forms of periodontitis are characterized by inflammatory gums that are unable to maintain their grip on the dentine (dental structure) and sags down, forming pockets that get infested. Toxins released by the microorganisms and the body’s response mechanism to combat the infection make the alveolar bone surrounding the teeth, brittle and, the connective tissues that clasp the teeth firmly get damaged. Eventually, the supporting structure comprising the alveolar bones, gum, and the connective tissues that keeps the teeth embedded get decayed and the teeth become loose and start falling off.


Periodontitis mostly afflict men and women in their thirties and forties although it may occur in younger age groups as well. Predominance of gum disease is more prevalent in men than women.  Although there are many causes and risk factors that are both directly and indirectly linked to periodontitis, poor oral hygiene has been established as the primary causative factor accounting for more than 60% of all the cases. Poor oral hygienic practices accelerate the process of plaque formation that progresses to form tartars.

Not maintaining proper mealtimes and not taking balanced diet are two other major risk factors. These two causes can cause malnutrition that can affect the health of the gums and teeth. Smoking is also responsible in a big way for accentuating the periodontal process and moreover, it can minimise the chances of an effective treatment. Tobacco abuse in smokeless/ chewing forms is also detrimental for gums and teeth.

Certain systemic diseases like diabetes, cancers, heart diseases, kidney diseases, and AIDS complete with their treatment procedures can have an adverse effect on healthy functioning of the gums or teeth leading to gingivitis and other damaging types of periodontitis.

Many people have a genetic predisposition for developing chronic and aggressive types and even necrotic forms of periodontitis. Hormonal imbalances like at puberty, menstrual periods, pregnancy, menopause and stressful periods can also predispose to various forms of periodontitis. 

Undergoing medical treatment and taking prescription or off the counter medicines can interfere with the smooth functioning of the salivary glands. Consequently, normal saliva secretion does not take place resulting in the dryness of mouth. This discrepancy makes the gums and the teeth susceptible to gum disease and its squeal.

When gum disease starts to set in, there are few tangible symptoms. Only when the periodontal disease becomes full blown, do the symptoms manifest themselves fully. At this stage, preliminary medical dental procedures such as scaling or root planning procedures might not prove successful. One might have to go in for comprehensive surgical procedures like bone or tissue grafting, and flap surgery.

Symptoms indicating gum disease comprise conditions such as:
  • halitosis (bad breath)
  • redness and swelling causing gums to bleed
  • recurrent gum swelling
  • sputtering blood post teeth brushing
  • experiencing pain during chewing
  • tooth sensitivity
  • drifting of teeth
  • teeth loss
  • receding gums


One may need to go in for corrective or invasive treatment procedures for controlling and reversing the infection. The periodontist or the dental specialist might suggest you to go for scaling for getting rid of tartar deposits or root planting for removing abrasive spots on the root of the tooth. Laser technique is being used increasingly in place of conventional treatment methods as it causes less discomfort.
Medications are used alongside such treatments to reduce and minimize the necessity to go for surgery but if periodontitis has progressed to an advanced stage, one will have to go under the scalpel (flap surgery/bone or tissue grafts). Medication categories include oral antibiotics, enzyme suppressants, antibiotic gels, and antimicrobial mouth rinses.
One has recourse to several natural solutions for taking thorough and proper care of gums and teeth. There are many home remedies as well that can help you take good oral care and the best thing about using natural antidotes is that they don’t have any side effects.

While using commercial toothpastes and mouthwashes read the ‘conditions of use’ and be aware of the possible risk factors associated with ingredients and additives that might be toxic or chemically polluting.
The following simple home-made remedies can be quite effective in maintaining oral health over the years.
  • Salt water rinse with tincture of myrrh or sage plant
  • Granules or powder of Propolis cera
  • Neem toothpaste and mouthwash
  • Myrrh tincture or powder
  • Mouthwashes containing calendula
  • Powdered cayenne pepper
  • Aloe vera
  • Tormentil
  • Mouthwash containing sage
  • Mint preparations
  • Certain toothpastes

Apart from the above remedies, there are number of other corrective measures one can take up including but not limited to Echinacea tincture, ginger tea with cinnamon, lemon and honey, and licorice root preparations. Gum packs containing vitamin E, turmeric powder, alum tincture, and turmeric powder works fine. Ayurvedic and herbal tooth powders work wonders.

One can also abide by the following hygienic practices that include:-

  • Brushing teeth regularly and at least two times in a day. Brushing at bedtime is most important.
  • Regular flossing for preventing plaque depositions and tartar formations
  • Regular visits to dentist for routine check-ups
  • Avoiding smoking or tobacco use in any form.
Problem Free Gums & Strong Teeth
Babool Salt, a natural toothpaste packed with two powerful ingredients--Salt and Babul whose antibacterial powers help to fight against germs, keep your gums healthy and teeth strong.
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