Don’t Let Gum Disease Destroy Your Smile
We tend to pay less attention to bleeding gums as an indication of gum disease. Gum disease or periodontal disease is simply the inflammation of the gingiva (gums).
Periodontal diseases are bacterial infections that attack and destroy the attaching fibers and the supporting bones that roots the teeth in the mouth.
When gum diseases are left untreated for a long time, it can lead to tooth loss, and even worse, heart disease.
Gums diseases usually show up in two stages, namely: Gingivitis and Periodontitis.
Gingivitis is a condition that results in the inflammation of the gums without tooth loss or heart disease. Periodontitis, on the other hand, results in the inflammation of the gums, and lead to loss of bones around the teeth.
Gingivitis usually precedes periodontitis. However, it is vital to note that not all gingivitis progresses to periodontitis. Gingivitis will occur as a result of the accumulation of plaque and tartar due to poor oral hygiene or gum trauma caused by hard brushing.
Symptoms of Gingivitis
- Swollen, shiny, and bright red or purple colored gums
- Sore in the mouth
- Painful gums (when touched)
- Gums that bleed easily even with a soft bristle and gentle brushing
- Itchy gums
- Receding gum line
Gingivitis can be easily prevented by thorough and gentle brushing with toothpaste along with flossing daily.
Periodontitis is an advanced phase of gum disease. Losing the bones around the teeth is feasible in this phase, and it becomes permanent.
Also, the attachment fibers and supporting bone around the teeth can be destroyed, which will eventually become tooth loss.
Symptoms of Periodontitis
- Occasional redness of the gum while brushing flossing or chewing crunchy foods
- Recurring swelling in the gum
- Halitosis (bad breath)
- Depression of the gum leading to improper teeth length (occurs as a result of a hard-bristled toothbrush)
- Pockets between the teeth and gums
- During the later stages of periodontitis, there may be loose and shaky teeth
Causes of gum disease
Plaque is the primary cause of periodontal disease. However, many factors contribute to cause gum disease, including:
Smoking (Tobacco use)
Smoking makes it difficult for gum tissues to repair itself. Tobacco use is a risk factor that encourages the growth of periodontitis.
Poor oral hygiene
When a person doesn’t brush or floss regularly, he encourages a breeding ground for gum disease to occur.
Ill-fitting bridges or dentures
Prevention of Gum Disease
When proper plaque control is practiced, gum disease can be prevented. Preventive measures include:
Maintain a well-balanced diet
A proper nutrition will help your immune system ward off infections
Avoid clenching or grinding your teeth
Doing this can put excessive pressure on the supporting tissues of your teeth and significantly increase the rate at which tissues are destroyed
Exercising regular oral hygiene
Regular dental check-ups and cleaning by a dentist
It is advisable to visit your dentist at least once in six months to any possible development of the periodontal disease.