What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is among the primary reasons for tooth decay in adults. Since this problem is asymptomatic for many patients, the disease can progress to advanced stages completely unnoticed. It is therefore important to visit your dentist regularly, as your dental practitioner will check your teeth for any indications of periodontal disease by measuring the depth of “pockets”, or the gaps which form between your gums and teeth.
The major reason behind gum disease is excessive buildup of plaque, a sticky kind of bacterial formation on the surface of your teeth. It can usually be removed through regular brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups. However, if not eliminated properly, it will continue to collect on the teeth, creating toxins which have the potential to destroy the gums and the underlying bone structure. Periodontal disease forms exactly below the gum line and forms small pockets which create tiny voids between the teeth and gums. It mainly consists of two stages: gingivitis and periodontitis.
- Gingivitis | This is the initial stage of this harmful disease. A patient may experience their gums becoming red, swollen, and easily bled as some signs and symptoms. At this phase, the disease can be controlled and reversed by brushing and flossing regularly, and a thorough cleaning at a dentist, to remove existing plaque formations.
- Periodontitis | After a period of time without proper treatment or preventive measures, gingivitis will advance into periodontitis. It can severely and irreversibly damage the gums and bone supporting the teeth. This stage can infect the gums which could ultimately result in the teeth becoming loose, easily falling out, or necessitating extraction through the assistance of a dentist.
Gum Disease Could Harm Your Overall Health
With oral systemic health, gum disease can increase your chances of serious health risks, including:
- Heart disease.
- Preterm birth.
- Rheumatoid arthritis.
- And so much more!
How Can You Prevent Gum Disease?
In order to maintain your health and ensure a long-lasting smile, visiting your dentist for regular checkups and periodontal examinations is highly recommended and encouraged. You can also reduce the chances of being afflicted by gum disease by practicing good oral hygiene at home. Make sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day, clean between your teeth, and eat a well-balanced diet, especially minimizing your sugar intake.
Be on the lookout for symptoms for gum disease, which include:
- Red, tender, and swollen gums which may bleed very easily.
- Gumline retracting away from the teeth.
- Loosening or separation of permanent teeth.
- Occurrence of pus between your gums and teeth.
- Marked change in your bite pattern.
- Change in partial dentures fitting.
- Bitter taste or unexplained persistent bad breath.
The treatment of periodontal disease can differ depending on the intensity of each individual case. Typical treatments are as follows: