When your gums are not functioning normally, it may be that you are suffering from gum disease. If your gums get severely inflamed or become reddish, swollen, and also are seen to bleed occasionally, then these are indications and symptoms of underlying gum disease.
The following are the main symptom of gum disease:
- Bleeding gums
- Pulling back of tissues and exposing your teeth
- Gums becoming swollen, reddish, and tender
- Teeth starting to loosen
- Might begin experiencing bad breath
- Oral sensitivity enhances
- Experience of painful chewing
- In worst cases, the tooth may get surrounded by pus
How do gum diseases occur?
There are various types of bacteria present in your mouth. These bacteria tend to mix with the fluid that your mouth produces, called mucus. This mixture of mucus and bacteria produces a film surrounding your teeth called plaque. As long as plaque is in its original form, it is not that harmful to your teeth, but as soon as it hardens, it is called tartar which is harmful to your gums. The formation of tartar along with plaque results in inflaming your gums. This condition is called gum disease or gingivitis.
The following are the major causes of gum disease:
People prone to diabetes have a higher risk of developing infections than their non-diabetic counterparts. Hence, if you have diabetes, you are more prone to gum infection. Diabetes exposes you to gum infection and has a prolonged recovery from the infection.
Smoking is perhaps one of the most significant factors of gum disease. One of the main reasons behind it is that it makes the body weak and reduces the ability of your body to fight such infections. So, if you are a smoker, it is high time you quit smoking. Otherwise, you may develop gum disease.
Often, it is observed that in spite of leading a healthy life and taking good care of your oral health, you might experience gum disease. It is very astonishing, but this happens due to the effect of your genetics. If gum problems are persistent in your family, you will inherit them. This is very unfortunate, and thus, you need to take care of your oral health even more.
Changes in the level of hormones can also cause gum diseases. This is more common among women because women undergo phases such as pregnancy where much hormonal imbalance is involved. In addition to this, having birth control pills or contraceptive pills at regular intervals also causes hormonal imbalance, which results in gum disease.
Diseases reducing immunity
Various diseases, such as AIDS and Cancer, significantly reduce immunity. If the immunity is reduced, the body fails to put up an efficient resistance against the invasion of the bacteria that causes gum diseases, making you more susceptible to them.
Medicines that reduce the production of saliva
The medicines prescribed for hypertension and depression contain substances that, when consumed, remarkably reduce the production of saliva in your body. Saliva within your mouth plays a crucial role in keeping your gums healthy. Saliva also fights harmful bacteria. As saliva production is reduced, you become susceptible to the risk of gum disease.
Who is prone to gum diseases?
The question arises about who is prone to gum diseases since not all can be at equal risk. It has been observed that people under the age of 30 generally do not experience gum diseases. However, the risk of the occurrence of gum disease generally increases as you start to age. If oral hygiene is ignored, you could experience gum infection at any time.
Initially, you will experience less severe gum disease, but if you leave it untreated, the severity will increase, which will take a toll on your oral health and hygiene. Statistically, it is seen that men are more prone to gum diseases than women.
How will your gum disease be diagnosed?
Once you start feeling that something is not right about your gums, you should immediately see a dentist. There are various tests that the dentist will do, and ultimately your gum disease will be diagnosed. For example, the dentist will check whether your teeth have inflammation or air pockets around them and might also take x-rays to confirm your oral health condition. Also, the dentist might check your medical history and the symptoms you have experienced.
Treatment for gum disease
After you have been successfully diagnosed with gum disease comes the phase of treatment. The treatment protocols vary with the severity of your gum disease.
Treatment for less severe gum disease
In its initial phase, gum diseases not require severe treatment. However, you will be advised to brush and floss your teeth regularly, and if required, you might have to undergo plaque removal treatment.
Treatment for severe gum disease
This phase requires deep cleaning to get your tartar removed from your teeth. Laser treatment is likely to occur in the form of scaling and rooting. Scaling scrapes out the tarter accumulation from your gum line, and root planting helps remove the harmful bacteria by extracting the rough spots that occur on the teeth roots.
Treatment for very severe gum disease
This phase requires flap surgery or tissue and bone grafting. In flap surgery, your gum is stitched around your teeth after the dentist removes the tartar deposits in the gaps. Tissue and bone grafting is generally done to help you regenerate your gum tissues. A natural or artificial bone is connected to the area of the decayed bone. This promotes tissue growth.
How can you prevent gum diseases?
You can take the following steps to prevent gum diseases:
- Brushing your teeth twice a day
- Flossing regularly
- Regularly using mouth wash after every food intake
- Having regular dental check-ups
- Cleaning plaque in its initial stage
- Quitting smoking
Thus, these are the various causes, preventions, and treatments of gum diseases. Maintaining healthy oral hygiene is always important since it can happen at any age. Even after you have undergone surgery or extracted plaque and tartar from your teeth, it is necessary to continue with healthy oral habits, and it does not take time for oral conditions to worsen.