Gum diseases, also referred to as periodontal diseases, are infections in the tissues and bones that surround and hold up the teeth. Bacteria found in plaque, a sticky clear substance that builds up and hardens on teeth surface, mainly cause gum diseases.
There are several cases of gum diseases, the mildest of which is gingivitis. A person with gingivitis has red or inflamed gums, which bleed easily. Good oral hygiene is the first defense against gingivitis or any other gum diseases. Going to your dentist regularly is another way to prevent and treat this disease.
When gingivitis is not treated, it can lead to a more severe infection called periodontitis.
Periodontitis damages the teeth’s supporting bones and tissues, creating gaps between teeth and gums and eventually causing tooth loss.
While bacteria in plaque are the primary cause of gum diseases, other contributing factors are smoking and stress, both of which decreases the body’s ability to stave off infection.
Persons with diabetes and other diseases that weaken the body’s immune system are also at a high risk of developing gum diseases. Lack of proper nutrition can worsen this condition. Hormonal changes such as during puberty, pregnancy and menopause may also make a person vulnerable to this kind of infection. In some cases, gum diseases are genetic and early detection is usually the best way of prevention and treatment.
The following are symptoms of gum diseases: mouth pains, frequent gum bleeding, gum swelling, mouth sores, pus in between gums and teeth, bad breath, sensitive teeth, loose teeth and receding gums. If you have any of these symptoms, consult your dentist immediately.
If it is determined that you have gum disease or periodontal disease, the next best step would be to seek treatment from a periodontist or a specialist in this condition. A periodontist will be able to tell you if you should proceed with non-surgical or surgical treatment.
Usually, the first step to treating gum diseases is a procedure called scaling which involves removing plaque and tartar in between teeth and gums all the way to the roots.
Root planing is another way to smooth the surface of the roots. These methods are usually enough to get rid of the problem but if your condition persists, surgery is another option. Surgical treatment may include flap surgery where gum tissue is pulled back to clean the roots completely, grafts to replace destroyed tissues and bones, and other procedures that stimulate tissue and bone growth.
Prevent gum diseases by brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing and visiting your dentist regularly. These simple reminders are the key to keeping your gums healthy and your teeth intact.
Most people tend to disregard that bleeding gums are one of the important indication of gum disease. Gum disease or also known as “periodontal disease is the inflammation of the gingiva or more known as gums. Periodontal (literally means “around the tooth”) diseases are bacterial infections that damage the attaching fibers and the supporting bone that holds the teeth in the mouth. If gum diseases are left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss or heart diseases.
There are two stages of gum diseases. These are: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gums without the bone loss while periodontitis is the inflammation of the gums that results in the loss of the bones around the teeth.
Gingivitis is the early phase of the gum disease. Gingivitis can be treated and reversed if the disease is diagnosed early. Gingivitis are caused by the accumulation of plaque and tartar as a result of poor oral hygiene or by gum trauma caused by hard brushing. The indications of gingivitis are swollen, shiny, and bright red or purple colored gums. Sore mouths, gums that painful when touched, gums that bleeds easily even with gentle brushing and itchy gums in various severity are also symptoms of gingivitis. Another indication of this stage of gum disease is the receding gum line. Gingivitis can be prevented by brushing the teeth thoroughly and gently with toothpaste and daily flossing of the teeth.
Periodontitis is the more serious and advanced phase of gum disease. Loss of the bone around the teeth is possible in this later stage of gum disease and is also irreversible. Attachment fibers and supporting bone around the teeth could be destroyed, and will eventually lead to the loosening and falling out of the teeth. The symptoms of this advanced stage of gum disease are occasional redness or bleeding of the gums while brushing or flossing the teeth or biting hard or crunchy foods. Occasional swelling of the gums that recur, constant bad tastes in the mouth and bad breath or halitosis is also one of its symptoms. Depressions of gums which result to the lengthening of the teeth are other symptoms of periodontitis. This is due to the intense brushing of the teeth by a hard bristled toothbrush. Pockets between the teeth and gums are also an indication of periodontitis. Loose and shaky teeth occur in the later phase of periodontitis.
There are lots of factors that cause gum disease. Smoking cigarette and using spit tobacco are one of the risk factor. Defective fillings, ill fitting bridges or dentures and poor oral hygiene are one of the leading causes of gum disease.
Exercising regular oral hygiene is the best prevention of gum disease. Regular dental check ups and dental cleanings are highly advised. Visit your dentist at least once every six months to detect of if possible avoid any gum disease.