GINGIVITIS, ACUTE ULCERATIVE
GLANS
disease and is usually the result of a
build-up of
plaque
around the base of
the teeth.
Toxins
produced by bacteria
in the plaque irritate the gums, causing
them to become infected, swollen, ten-
der, and red-purple in colour. Gingivitis
can also result from injury to the
gums, usually through rough tooth-
brushing or flossing. Pregnant women
and people with
diabetes meUitus
are
especially susceptible.
Good
oral hygiene
is the main means
of preventing and treating gingivitis.
Untreated, it may damage gum tissue,
which may lead to chronic
periodontitis
.
Acute ulcerative gingivitis may develop in
people with chronic gingivitis, especi-
ally those with lowered resistance to
infection (see
gingivitis, acute ucerative
).
gingivitis,
acute ulcerative
Painful
infection and ulceration of the
gums
due to abnormal growth of bacteria that
usually exist harmlessly in small num-
bers in gum crevices. Predisposing factors
include poor
oral hygiene
,
smoking,
throat infections, and emotional stress.
In many cases the disorder is preceded
by
gingivitis
or
periodontitis
.
The condi-
tion is uncommon, primarily affecting
people aged 15-35.
The gums become sore and bleed at
the slightest pressure. Crater-like ulcers
develop on the gum tips between teeth,
and there may be a foul taste in the
mouth, bad breath, and swollen lymph
nodes. Sometimes, the infection spreads
to the lips and cheek lining (see
noma
).
A
hydrogen peroxide
mouthwash can
relieve the inflammation.
Scaling
is then
performed to remove plaque. In severe
cases, the antibacterial drug
metronida-
zole
may be given to control infection.
gingivostomatitis
Widespread inflam-
mation of the mouth and gums, most
often due to a viral infection, particu-
larly
herpes simplex.
The condition can
also be due to a bacterial infection or
an adverse reaction to a prescribed
drug. (See also
cold sore
.)
ginkgo
An extract from the maidenhair
tree
GINKGO BILOBA,
claimed to be helpful
in circulatory disorders, reduced circu-
lation in the brain, senility, depression,
and premenstrual syndrome. Possible
side effects are spasms and cramps.
GINKGO
gland
A group of specialized
cells
that
manufacture and release chemical sub-
stances, such as
hormones
and
enzymes
,
into the body. There are two main types
of
glands:
endocrine
and
exocrine.
Endocrine glands
do not have ducts and
release their secretions directly into the
bloodstream;
examples
include
the
pituitary, thyroid, and adrenal glands.
Exocrine glands
have ducts and release
their secretions either on to the surface
of the skin (sebaceous glands) or into a
hollow structure such as the mouth or
digestive tract (salivary glands).
Lymph nodes
are sometimes referred
to as glands, particularly when they are
enlarged (see
glands, swollen
). Strictly
speaking, this is incorrect usage because
lymph nodes do not secrete chemical
substances.
glanders
An infection of horses caused
by the bacterium
PSEUDOMONAS MALLEI.
In rare cases,
it is transmitted to
humans, causing symptoms including
fever and general aches and pains.
Ulcers
may develop
where
bacteria
entered the skin; if bacteria enters the
lungs,
pneumonia
may occur. In severe
cases,
septicaemia
may follow. Treat-
ment is with
antibiotics
.
glands,
swollen
Enlargement of the
lymph nodes
as a result of inflammation
and/or proliferation of white blood cells
within them. Swollen lymph nodes are a
common symptom, especially in chil-
dren, and are usually caused by a minor
infection or an allergic reaction (see
allergy
).
Rarer causes include
Hodgkin's
disease
and other forms of
lymphoma
.
glandular fever
See
infectious mono-
nucleosis
.
glans
The head of the
penis.
G
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