Gum Disease: A Guide
Gum disease refers to the infection of the soft tissues on your gums. If you don’t get treatment for gum disease, the disease will spread and destroy bones supporting the teeth. Ultimately, gum disease causes tooth loosening or loss. Learn what you need to know about gum disease.
Gum disease often happens due to plaque accumulation. Nevertheless, many other things can lead to gum disease. Some of those things include:
- Hormonal changes. Menstruation, menopause, puberty, and pregnancy can lead to hormonal changes. These changes cause gum sensitivity and may eventually lead to gum disease.
- Illness. Gum disease is a symptom of certain diseases. For example, HIV and cancer weaken the immune system and may affect your gums. Also, diabetes reduces the body’s capacity to process sugar in the bloodstream, leading to other infections like cavities and gum disease.
- Medications. The amount of saliva in the mouth can reduce when you take some medications. Lack of saliva reduces protection for the gums and teeth and may lead to gum disease. Other medications may initiate abnormal growth in your gums.
- Poor oral hygiene. Failure to floss or brush regularly can lead to gum disease.
- Bad habits. Specific habits, such as smoking, interfere with the gum tissues’ ability to repair themselves.
Sometimes, you can develop gum disease if you have a family history of dental conditions.
Some people don’t even recognize that they have gum disease until it’s too late. By the time you notice the symptoms, the condition has mutated into periodontitis. However, you can still notice the symptoms if you are careful enough. The main symptoms to look out for are swollen, tender, and red gums.
You may also have periodontal disease if your gums bleed during flossing or brushing. Gums pulling away from the teeth or becoming loose is another indication of gum disease. As the condition progresses, you may notice pus accumulation in spaces between the teeth and the gums. Eventually, you will start to feel pain when chewing food.
Impact on Overall Health
Early-stage gum infection typically leads to uncomfortable symptoms. As the condition progresses, you may have trouble chewing food and may eventually lose some teeth. Also, the bacteria from gum disease may lead to other health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, and lung disease.
Your dentist will evaluate your medical history to determine any risk factors. Next, the dentist will examine your gums for proof of inflammation. During the examination, the dentist may insert an instrument into your mouth to calculate the size of the pockets surrounding the teeth.
Various types of treatments are available for gum disease. The ideal treatment depends on the stage of the disease and your health. The treatments can be non-surgical therapy to prevent bacteria spread or restorative surgery to treat damaged tissues.
The main non-surgical treatment is professional dental cleaning that removes tartar and plaque on the gums and tooth surfaces. Even after the gum disease has gone away, your dentist may recommend a professional dental clinic visit at least twice a year. You can also do root planing and scaling to eliminate the debris on the gums and teeth.
Your dentist will recommend a checkup schedule that you must follow. However, see your dentist immediately after you notice any signs of gum disease. Early intervention can help prevent damage and even reverse the progress of gum disease.
Ultimately, the best way to tackle gum disease is to seek the help of a professional dentist, such as Accent Dental. We provide cosmetic dentistry, general dentistry, and other important dental services. Contact us to book an appointment.