How Much Do You Know About Gum Disease?
Gum disease or periodontal disease is a condition that arises due to the inflammation and swelling of gums, tissues and other supporting structures of the teeth. The inflammation causes bacteria to build up around these areas, and when the bacteria are not removed regularly, the inflammation spreads to adjacent bones and ligaments that hold the tooth in place.
Gum disease is among the biggest concern in dentistry as it affects very many people without any warning. However, are you aware of the types and causes of this disease, the symptoms and what to do about it? Vita Dental Spring has compiled for you what you need to know about this condition.
What Are the Types of Gum Disease
Gum diseases are mainly of two types; Gingivitis and periodontitis.
Gingivitis is the inflammation of gums that arises from an excess plaque on the teeth. Red and swollen gums characterize the condition. The gums bleed when brushing your teeth. When the infections get worse, the gums starting looking puffy and more inflamed. Acute gingivitis is associated with certain infections and microorganisms while chronic gingivitis is associated with a bacteria film that covers the gums and teeth.
Another type is called periodontitis. The condition arises from worsened gingivitis that was never treated. It is characterized by the pulling away of gum tissues from teeth. These create a room where new bacteria build up leading to infections.
Periodontitis is mainly characterized by the formation of pockets between teeth, red, swollen and bleeding gums. Other characteristics include poor tooth alignment, pain when chewing, receding gums, lose or sensitive teeth and even swollen sores along the gum line.
Aggressive periodontitis occurs in children who are mainly below three years of age. Necrotizing periodontitis, on the other hand, destroys tissues, bones, and ligaments in the mouth. This condition is common in people who smoke or those with weaker immunity.
What Are the Common Causes of Gum Disease?
The core cause of gum disease is a certain group of bacteria that inhabit the mouth. Other possible causes of the disease are:
Poor Oral Hygiene
Plaque is a substance that forms on teeth after brushing them. This gives room for bacteria to build up along the gumline and on the teeth. During this time, the body immunity releases substances that cause inflammation, bleeding, and swelling of gums. These bacteria produce toxic acids that injure gums and the tissues that support the teeth. When plaque is not removed within two days, the layer hardens into a rough coating called tartar.
Prolonged Exposure to Medications
Certain diseases increase one’s susceptibility to these gum diseases. People who have diabetes, for instance, have a high risk for periodontal infections. This may be due to poorly controlled blood sugar levels that lead to slow healing of gums.
Other diseases like leukemia and inflammatory bowel increase the risk of having periodontal diseases.
Genetical Transfer of The Condition
Having family members with this condition are proof of genetical influence. People with a genetic susceptibility to this disease can, however, observe oral health as a way of controlling the disease. Parents with a history of gum disease might give birth to children who may have the condition. Nevertheless, early treatment of such children can help reduce the risk of contracting the disease genetically.
Chewing and Smoking Tobacco
Tobacco contains a black substance known as tar which accumulates on the teeth. Tar is responsible for the development of pockets which may be hiding place for bacteria. These bacteria ultimately end up affecting the gums leading to gum diseases.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Gum Diseases?
Gum diseases can strike without any warning. However, when one is infected with the disease, he or she will experience the following signs and symptoms according to Vita Dental Spring.
- Bleeding and Swelling of Gums
When bacteria infect the gums, they begin to swell thereby forming pockets that start bleeding with time. Bleeding gums will always make the teeth become weak and lose stability.
- Pain When Eating and Chewing
Since the bacteria affects the roots of the teeth, the tooth becomes weaker hence unable to bear the pressure of chewing and eating. This results in pain when eating food that requires heavy chewing and biting.
- Bad Breath
The bacteria in the mouth break down food particles hence releasing multiple gases in the mouth. The gases emitted combine to produce a bad smell.
- Loose Teeth
Teeth begin to loosen due to the bacteria that weaken the roots.
However, people can observe some precautionary measures to protect themselves safe from gum disease.
Preventive Measures People Can Adapt to Prevent Gum Diseases.
- Practice Oral Health
Brush and floss teeth at least twice a day. Remember to use fluoridated toothpaste.
- Minimize the Use of Tobacco
People who chew and smoke tobacco should stop. Tobacco causes damage and receding of gums.
- Dental Checkups
Always visit your dentist to rule out any other conditions that may be damaging your teeth.
At Vita Dental Spring, we offer dental checkups for this and many other dental conditions.