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Gum Disease: All You Need To Know

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Periodontitis, more commonly known as gum disease, is the inflammation and infection of the tissues around your teeth. Gingivitis, on the other hand, is the early stage of periodontitis which leads to gum disease if you do not take proper dental treatment and follow an oral care routine.

The bacteria in plaque build up in the early stages of gingivitis, causing the gums to become irritated and bleed easily during teeth brushing. The teeth are still firmly planted in their sockets, even if the gums are inflamed. At this time, there hasn’t been any irreversible bone or tissue damage.

 

What are the Symptoms of Periodontitis?Bleeding Gums

  1. The gums are red and swollen
  2. Bleeding of gums while brushing and after brushing your teeth.
  3. There is a persistent bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
  4. Gums are receding
  5. The teeth have become loose
  6. There is a change in how your teeth fit while biting down.

Sometimes it may be possible that you don’t see any symptoms of gum disease, but it is present right there. Thus, you should have regular dental checkups so that a dental professional can detect the gum disease early and provide necessary treatment.

 

How does a Dentist diagnose Gum Disease?

  1. The dentist examines the depth of pockets. These pockets are spaces between the gums and the teeth.
  2. The dentist checks for bleeding, firmness and swelling of the gums
  3. Also, the dentist examines the teeth sensitivity, movement and alignment of teeth.
  4. Then the dentist also looks if there is a breakdown of jaw bone surrounding your teeth.

 

What are the Causes of Gum Disease?

Gum Diseases - Bleeding Gums

The prime causative factor of periodontitis is plaque. However, other factors also increase the risk of periodontitis. These factors include the following:-

1) Lack of proper oral hygiene:

Neglecting oral care practices like brushing your teeth and flossing makes your gums more vulnerable to developing periodontitis.

2) Hormonal changes:

like those that occur during pregnancy, puberty, menopause, and monthly menstruation make gums more sensitive, making gingivitis more likely to develop.

3) Other Diseases:

Gum disease can be due to a variety of illnesses. It covers disorders that affect the immune system, such as cancer or HIV. Patients with diabetes are more likely to acquire infections, such as periodontal disease.

4) Smoking:Gum Disease due to smoking

Smoking makes it more difficult for gum tissue to regenerate itself. Gingivitis is made simpler by poor oral hygiene habits such as not brushing and flossing daily.

5) Genetic Factors:

A family history of dental diseases may increase the risk of periodontitis in your gums.

 

How Can You Prevent Gum Disease?

1) Brushing:

  • Brushing your teeth twice a day is recommended.
  • Make sure to brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Get yourself a new brush once it is three months old or if the bristles start to fray.Brushing and Flossing

2) Flossing:

  • Food particles and plaque are removed from between the teeth and under the gum line by flossing.
  • Flossing every day removes plaque from locations that your toothbrush can’t reach.

3) Quit smoking:

Smoking is not only harmful to your heart and lungs, but it can also destroy your teeth and gums. Smokers are seven times more likely than nonsmokers to develop gum disease, and smoking can reduce the effectiveness of several therapies.Quit Smoking

4) Reducing Your Stress Levels:

Stress might make it more difficult for your immune system to battle infections.

5) Eating a Well-balanced Diet:

Bacteria in your mouth eat sugars and starches from meals, which fuels their production of acids that eat away at tooth enamel. Sugar and starch are abundant in junk food and confectionery. To keep your teeth and gums healthy, avoid them. Nutritional support for your immune system aids in the battle against infection.

 

What is the Treatment for Gum Disease?

The treatment options available for gum disease range from non-surgical methods to curb bacterial growth and surgical methods to restore the supporting tissues of the teeth.

1) Non-Surgical Procedures

Professional Dental Cleanings

A dentist removes the Tartar from the tooth surface both above and below the gum line. Tartar is the plaque build-up on your tooth surface that hardens over time, and only a dental professional can clean it. Tough, dental cleanings are not a treatment for active gum disease they help prevent gum disease.

Root Planning and Scaling

It is a deep cleaning procedure a dentist does under a local anaesthetic. This method helps to remove the plaque and tartar.

a) Scaling – The dentist scrapes the tartar from the tooth both above and below the gum line.

b) Planning – The dentist smooths out the rough spots on the tooth surface. By this, the gums get a clean surface to reattach themselves to the tooth.

 

2) Surgical Procedures

Flap Surgery

The dentist lifts the gums and removes the tartar. In certain circumstances, the dentist polishes the uneven surfaces of a damaged bone to make it smooth and reduce the hiding place for bacteria. Then positions the tissue around the tooth to make it fit tight around the tooth. This process reduces the gap between the tooth and gum.

Bone Grafts

A dentist uses small pieces from your bone, synthetic bone or a donor’s bone to replace the bone that gum disease has destroyed. These grafts help in the regrowth of the bone and make your teeth stable.

Soft-tissue Grafts

In this procedure, the dentist uses graft tissue mostly from the roof of your mouth and stitches it to the affected gum tissue area.

Guided Tissue Regeneration

This therapy stimulates bone and gum tissue development after the dentist removes the bone supporting your teeth. A thin piece of mesh-like fabric is put between the bone and gum tissue. In combination with flap surgery, it prevents the gum tissue from growing into the bone area, allowing the bone and connective tissue to regenerate and support the teeth.

Bone Surgery

Through this process, the dentist smoothens out the shallow craters in the bone caused by mild to advanced bone loss. The dentist modifies the bone around the tooth after flap surgery to reduce craters. Bacteria have a hard time collecting and growing as a result of this.

 

Periodontitis is a major cause of tooth loss. Brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily and have a balanced diet along with regular dental checkups and cleanings to prevent gum disease.

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