Periodontal disease is a serious concern, not just for your smile but for your entire body. Research has suggested that this condition may have some relationship with systemic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, mood, and cognitive disorders and some types of cancer. Fortunately, gum disease can be prevented. Furthermore, early-stage gum disease can be treated rather easily if it does occur. It’s important to understand the biology of gum disease so that you can work to prevent it and monitor your gum tissue for signs of the disease so that you can seek treatment promptly if needed.
Gum disease occurs when oral bacteria attack the gum tissue and cause inflammation in the gums. Because it is warm and wet, your mouth provides the perfect habitat for these oral bacteria, which can be found in plaque, the sticky film that coats your teeth, and tartar, which is the hard deposits that can develop on teeth. Brushing your teeth twice each day, giving particular attention to the gumline, flossing and seeing your dentist at least twice a year can disrupt the formation of plaque and tartar and reduce your risk of gum disease as a result.
Gum disease is a progressive condition, which means that it proceeds in a series of stages, each of which is associated with increasingly severe symptoms. The mildest form of gum disease is gingivitis. It is marked by redness, swelling or puffiness and bleeding in the gums. The next stage is periodontitis. This is when pockets begin to develop between the teeth and the gums, and the patient may also notice some recession of the gum tissue. In advanced periodontitis, the teeth may start to feel loose. Ultimately, tooth and bone loss can occur as a result of uncontrolled advanced periodontitis.
Gum disease treatment depends on the stage during which the condition is diagnosed. More advanced stages of gum disease require more involved treatments. Gingivitis usually responds to a thorough professional cleaning, which is a compelling reason to notify your dentist as soon as you notice any symptoms that could indicate gingivitis.
Early stage periodontitis may be treated with a procedure known as root scaling and planing, in which pockets in the teeth are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized to eradicate any remaining bacteria, and the underlying root is smoothed over to remove congregation spots for bacteria. If gum recession has already occurred, the patient may need to undergo gum grafting to replace missing gum tissue.
Periodontal disease is inflammation of a patient’s gum tissue. Periodontal disease is progressive, and later stages are associated with more severe symptoms and consequences. The earliest signs of gum disease include bleeding, redness or swelling of the gum tissue, and in later stages, pockets can develop between the teeth and the gums. Gum tissue may also begin to recede. The effects of the periodontal disease may not be limited to the smile, either. There is some evidence that periodontal disease has a relationship with a variety of health issues affecting other systems in the body.
Patients should do everything within their power to reduce the presence of oral bacteria. This begins with good oral hygiene practices at home. Brush your teeth twice each day for two minutes at a time. Give extra attention to the gumline, and hold your brush at a 45-degree angle in that area. Daily flossing also removes plaque between the teeth and is another important weapon in your fight against gum disease. You may want to include an anti-bacterial mouthwash in your regimen as another prevention method. In addition to your self-care, you should also see your dentist at least every six months to have your teeth cleaned to remove any plaque or tartar that may have accumulated despite your daily oral hygiene routine.
It occurs when oral bacteria build up in the mouth and cause inflammation in the gum tissue. These oral bacteria are found in plaque and tartar and can easily proliferate in the oral cavity because it is warm and damp. These are ideal conditions for bacterial growth. Bacteria can also feed on residual sugars in the mouth, which is why it is so important to limit your sugar intake, especially when the sugar is contained in sticky substances that can hang around the teeth for quite some time. Keeping your teeth and gums as clean as possible can also limit the ability of these oral bacteria to attack your gum tissue.
Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease, and it is characterized by rather minor symptoms, such as swelling or redness in the gums. Bleeding gums are also a sign of gingivitis, even if it only happens while you are brushing or flossing. Gingivitis usually responds to conservative treatments. You should monitor your gums for signs of this condition so that you can contact your dentist as soon as possible in the disease process and get effective treatment.