Gums or gingiva is a soft tissue structure surrounding the teeth and supporting the tooth structure. It is this gum that holds the tooth in position. Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, causes infection and inflammation of the gum causing it to move away from the tooth and subsequent tooth loosening. The specialty of dentistry which deals with the treatment of gums is known as Periodontology and the doctor known as a Periodontist.
How does gum disease occur?
Food accumulation is the initiator of gum disease. Food lodgment occurs in the neck of the tooth near the region of the junction of tooth and gums and begins to form a layer of debris accumulation known as dental plaque. This dental plaque also contains various colonies of bacteria. These accumulated bacteria cause chronic inflammation. This inflammation attacks the attachment below the gum line and breaks down the gum tissue causing gum disease.
Factors increasing the risk for gum disease
Numerous factors increase the risk of developing gum diseases the most common being
• Increased smoking and tobacco chewing habit, causing gum inflammation.
• Debilitating systemic illnesses like diabetes or cancer.
• Hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy and menstruation.
• Medications such as contraceptives and anticonvulsants, which cause swelling of the gum and subsequent plaque accumulation.
• Ill-fitting bridges and fillings that have become faulty causing dental plaque accumulation.
Symptoms of gum disease:
There are various symptoms with which you can identify whether you are suffering from gum disease. They made include:
• Reddish, swollen and painful gums.
• Pocket formation around the tooth due to loss of gum attachment causing even greater food accumulation and further infection
• Pus accumulation in the gums due to high levels of infection.
• Gums that are receding away from the tooth, causing loosening of the tooth.
• Gums that tend to bleed during or after brushing, flossing or chewing on hard food.
• Loosening and separation of teeth,
• Bad breath/Halitosis
• Continued bad metallic taste in the mouth
• Changes in the fit of dentures and the way the teeth approximate during biting/chewing.
Types of Gum Diseases:
Periodontal diseases are classified according to the severity of the infection, the extent of gum tissue involved and are classified into two stages: Gingivitis and Periodontitis.
Gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) is the initial stage of gum disease and is quite a common infection. It begins with the buildup of bacteria containing plaque in the mouth and causes the gum to inflame. The gums now become swollen and reddish and tend to bleed easily. The primary causative for this gingival condition is poor oral hygiene maintenance, malnutrition, and some related medical conditions. When left untreated at this stage, gingivitis can progress to a disease known as periodontitis.
Periodontitis is the progressed, advanced stage of gingivitis where the severe continuing infection breaks down the supporting structures of the teeth. The attachment apparatus of the tooth is destroyed, and it causes progressive loss of tooth attachment causing the loosening and eventful failure of teeth.
Preventive tips and home remedies for gum disease
• Maintenance of adequate oral hygiene like brushing twice daily, flossing and regular use of an antiseptic mouthwash are critical in preventing gum diseases
• It is advised to rinse your mouth after every meal.
• Use fluoridated toothpastes and change your toothbrushes once every one to three months.
• Maintain a proper, healthy diet to ensure adequate growth and health of the gums and teeth.
• Avoid frequent consumption of foods and liquids that contain large quantities of sugar. Sugar allows bacteria to adhere and accumulate to the teeth and the tissues surrounding it and cause gum destruction. Limit sugar intake to the main meals of the day.
Before and after changes following gum disease treatment
• The swelling of the gum will gradually decrease as the infection once removed will allow the tissue to shrink and heal.
• Bleeding symptoms will tend to fall.
• Bad breath or halitosis will reduce.
• Teeth which were mobile will begin to stabilize after advanced treatment.
At Malligai Dental, we advise you to have regular visits with us and get a dental checkup done every once in 6 months. Early the detection, less invasive will be the treatment. We will strive to save your natural teeth and give you a natural and a healthy smile.