A silent dis­ease

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - ORAL HEALTH - By Dr Ng Kar Wee

DEN­TISTRY to­day is not just about de­tect­ing and di­ag­nos­ing den­tal is­sues but more about dis­ease preven­tion.

Gum dis­ease af­fects a large part of the adult pop­u­la­tion and re­mains a preva­lent dis­ease. Yet, it is of­ten dis­re­garded by many and not ad­e­quately ad­dressed.

Gum dis­ease is an in­flam­ma­tory dis­ease caused by bac­te­rial plaque that can in­volve the gums, lig­a­ments and bone sur­round­ing the teeth.

It is a silent dis­ease with lit­tle to no signs. Apart from some bleed­ing while brush­ing, bad breath, red­ness, puffi­ness or itch­i­ness, there are no painful symp­toms un­til the se­vere stage of gum dis­ease.

Early stage gum dis­ease ( gin­givi­tis) that in­volves the su­per­fi­cial layer of gums is rev­ersible and pre­ventable. How­ever, ad­vanced gum dis­ease or pe­ri­odon­ti­tis is ir­re­versible and can only be kept un­der con­trol upon treat­ment.

Den­tal plaque ac­cu­mu­la­tion is the pre­req­ui­site for the de­vel­op­ment of gin­givi­tis and re­mov­ing it is the cor­ner­stone of pre­vent­ing pe­ri­odon­tal dis­eases.

Re­search shows that the time and fre­quency of brush­ing are key fac­tors in the ef­fi­ciency of den­tal plaque re­moval.

How­ever, the ded­i­ca­tion and mo­ti­va­tion re­quired to achieve or main­tain such con­trol is not the norm for most in­di­vid­u­als.

This has led to the in­tro­duc­tion of chem­i­cal agents as ad­juncts to me­chan­i­cal oral hygiene pro­ce­dures to con­trol den­tal plaque for­ma­tion.

The use of oral care prod­ucts with anti- mi­cro­bial agents in daily oral hygiene rou­tines aug­ments the fight against pe­ri­odon­tal dis­eases by min­imis­ing the dam­ag­ing ef­fects of bac­te­rial plaque.

Years of re­search backed by clin­i­cal tri­als have her­alded chlorhex­i­dine as the most ef­fec­tive oral an­ti­sep­tic and chem­i­cal plaque con­trol agent cur­rently avail­able for use, es­pe­cially be­tween nor­mal pro­fes­sional den­tal hygiene vis­its. –

Dr Ng Kar Wee is di­rec­tor at Cav­ico ( M) Sdn Bhd.

For more in­for­ma­tion, con­tact Cav­ico ( M) Sdn Bhd.

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