In many ways, as you can imagine. With advanced gum disease, you will probably have some difficulty eating and talking. Very few people can comfortably go a full day without doing either activity. Gum disease does not just happen. Years of continuous assault on your gums without a visit to a dentist near you is usually responsible. In this article, we will discuss the condition in details.
Gum disease/ periodontitis starts with bacterial growth that can eventually end up with tooth loss and tissue destruction without gum disease treatment. Gingivitis is another condition worthy of mention in this discussion. Gingivitis is also known as gum inflammation. It always precedes gum disease. However, this is not to say that all gingivitis ends in periodontitis. Gingivitis starts as plaque bacterial buildup that inflames the gums and causes the bleeding seen with slight irritation. When left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis. Here, the inner layer of the gum and bone pull away from the teeth and form pockets. These pockets collect debris and become infected with bacteria. These bacteria produce toxins that start to break down teeth and connective tissue. Before long, the tooth becomes loose and fall off easily.
Symptoms Of Gum Disease
Gum disease can be subtle in the early stages. This can extend into the late phases of the disease. However, it will often show signs that are hard to miss. One may experience bleeding gums that are red and swollen and painful to touch. It is also possible to feel pockets between the teeth and gums as well as loose teeth.
Causes Of Gum Disease
The number one cause of gum disease is plaque. However, some factors can increase the risk of gum disease. Hormonal changes that happen in pregnancy, puberty, menopause and menstruation make the gum more sensitive. This increases the risk of disease. Conditions that suppress the disease-fighting ability of our immune system can increase the risk of gum disease. These include cancers, HIV and diabetes. Some drugs affect oral health by reducing the secretion of saliva. Saliva has a protective effect on our teeth and gums. Some drugs even cause abnormal growth of gum tissue.
Personal habits like smoking make it difficult for your gums to resist disease. The same goes for poor oral hygiene. Some families have gum disease running in their genes. This increases risk too.
Gum Disease Treatment
Periodontal disease treatment involves reattachment of the gums to the teeth, reduction of swelling and depths of pockets as well as halt disease progression. If you have had previous gum disease, treatment them will be considered too. You may need surgery to restore lost tissue. Antibiotics can be prescribed to reduce bacterial growth.
How To Prevent Gum Disease
You need to practice proper plaque control. This starts at home with regular toothbrushing with fluoride toothpaste twice a day. Change your toothbrush every 3-4 months or as soon as the bristles start to fray. Use dental floss to clean spaces in between the teeth where your toothbrush cannot get to. You need to schedule professional dental clinics with your dentist twice a year. Using an antibacterial mouthwash also increases your chances of preventing gum disease.
If you smoke, quit the habit. Tobacco increases your risk as high as seven times for gum disease. Moreover, it makes treatment difficult. Eat a balanced diet loaded with lots of fruits and vegetables. Your gums can do with the wealth of vitamins and minerals present in these foods. Sleep well and exercise to relieve stress. Avoid clenching and grinding your teeth. If you find out that this happens frequently while you sleep, see a dentist for treatment.