Do you think that only old and mature people get gum disease? Think again. Any person at any age can develop gum disease, especially if they do not practice proper oral health care. Gum disease can cause a wide range of problems from bad breath to more serious complications, such as pain and tooth loss.
Gum disease is a dangerous oral health problem. According to recent studies, about one third of Americans have or have had the disease, and it affects other bodily functions. Unfortunately, this fact is not known by many people because the earliest symptoms of gum disease can be undetectable. The first phase of gum disease is usually only visible by your dentist, and without regular dentist consultation, the problem will only get worse.
Gum Disease: An Overview
When the tissues and bones that surround and support your teeth get infected, it will lead to gum disease. There are two types of gum disease: Periodontitis and Gingivitis.
Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that only affects the gums which is the tissue around the teeth. It causes red and swollen gums that can easily bleed when brushing. Gingivitis does not typically cause pain; thus, a lot of people don’t get the treatment needed on time.
Periodontitis is a more serious and severe gum disease that spread below the gums to damage the tissue and bones that support the teeth. This condition causes the gums to pull away from the teeth, the deep pockets developed is where the bacteria can grow and damage the bone. In worst cases, the teeth can become loose, fall out, or the teeth even have to be pulled out by the dentist.
Causes and Warning Signs Of Developing Gum Disease
The main cause of gum disease is the development of bacteria in the mouth. The bacteria will infect the tissue surrounding the tooth, causing inflammation, which will then lead to periodontal disease. If the bacteria stay on the teeth for a long period of time, they will become plaque, which will then turn into tartar. The build-up of tartar can spread below the gum line, which makes it harder to clean. When such condition develops, only the dentist can remove the tartar and prevent the periodontal disease. Here are some of the warning signs of gum disease:
- Bad breath, red and swollen gums
- Bad taste that won’t go away after brushing
- Loose teeth or teeth sensitivity
- Painful chewing
- Bleeding or tender gums
- Pus coming from gums -Gums have pulled away or shrink from the teeth
Preventing and Treating Gum Disease
Gum disease is a sneaky oral health condition which may cause little or no pain at all before it gets worst. For this reason, regular visit to the dentist is advisable. With x-rays and proper examination, the dentist can spot trouble even before you realize that you have developing gum problems.
If you have a mild case of gum disease, you can address it by brushing and flossing your teeth daily and getting regular teeth cleaning at your dentist’s clinic. Some of the treatments for gum problems include:
Root planing and scaling. This procedure deeply cleanses, scrapes, and removes plaque and tartar from the teeth and below gum line.
Antibiotics. These medications are used together with scaling and root planning. It can help stop infection development and swelling in the mouth. It can take the form of a medicated mouthwash, or it can also be an antibiotic gel or fibers which are place in gum pockets to kill bacteria and heal gums.
Surgery. This procedure is for the worst cases of periodontitis. Surgery requires a dentist to open and clean badly diseased gum pockets, then stitch the gum back into place to properly fit around the teeth.
Gingival grafting. If the gum disease is too severe and it can’t be sewed back together, the dentist will remove healthy gum tissue from another area of the mouth and stitches it into place. The graft will be able to replace the diseased gum tissue and helps support teeth. This will provide the teeth and gums an improved appearance.
To ensure that your gums will keep its healthy form, you must make it a habit to floss and brush daily, and quit bad habits that can damage your teeth and gums. For instance, you have to stop smoking or sugary snacks between meals.
Kris Lim is a blogger for DentalBoise.com and other dental websites where she offers tips and advice on how to care for teeth and gums. She also writes about oral health problems, such as gum disease and how to treat it.