Gum Disease – Overview about the common problem
We all know that Gum Disease is one of the most common problems we face. But how well do we know this disease? The objective of this article to tell you about the symptoms and the precautionary measures and the treatment that you need to undertake in case you are suffering from it.
What is Gum Disease?
When the tissues and bones supporting our tooth gets affected and starts to deteriorate that condition is called as Gum Disease. In the Dental terms it is called as Periodontal Disease and is classified in two categories:-
- Gingivitis: This is the initial stage and a milder form of Gum Disease and it affects the gums and the softer tissues that surrounds the teeth.
- Periodontitis: The second stage and the most severe form of Gum Disease completely deteriorates the gums and eventually damages the tissues and bone which supports the teeth.
Causes of Gum Diseases
To put it across in a brutally honest, plain and simple words – Lack of Oral Hygiene. Not following the proper dental hygiene gives a reason for bacteria to reside in our mouth which results in plaque formation. These bacteria feed on the sugar which is present in the food and drinks that we consume and produce acids which deteriorates your gum and tissues. If plaque is not treated soon it will turn out to be tartar and will be even more difficult to remove.
Lack of Oral Hygiene is the main reason for gum disease however the other reasons why you suffer from it is because of certain habits such as Smoking or even chewing tobacco. People who use tobacco more are more likely to get affected by gum disease. Not only this, people who chew tobacco and smoke are more likely to suffer from tooth loss and this form gets difficult to treat. You may also suffer from Gum Disease if someone from your immediate family is suffering from it. In case you consume diet which is low on Vitamin C and minerals your immune system deteriorates and hence you are more likely getting affected by this disease. The reason is that because your immune system gets vulnerable hence it becomes a reason for bacteria to attack and plaque formation.
What are the symptoms?
The difference between healthy gums and gums suffering from this disease is that the former is pink and fit tightly to the teeth. They do not bleed easily however it is just the opposite for the latter. Gingivitis will case your gums to become red, swollen, and tender and every time you will brush, your gums will bleed. However Gingivitis isn’t that painful so you might not be able to notice these problems but in case of the more severe form of gum disease, Periodontitis you may notice:
- Gums pulling away from teeth.
- Consistent bad breath.
- Pus oozing out of gums.
- Loose gums and teeth.
In case you have any such problems as mentioned above then it is time that you need to seek dental help.
Your dentist will be taking X-Ray of your teeth to determine bone damage and will also check for:
- Bleeding gums
- A buildup of tartar or plaque above your teeth
- He/She will also check the areas from where the gums are pulling away from teeth.
- He/She will also determine whether there are any pocket formation between your gum and teeth.
It is mandatory to treat gum disease before it takes a more severe form where in you loose your teeth or suffer from a permanent gum damage. To facilitate the treatment you need to ensure that you:
- Brush twice a day and floss at least once
- Visit your dentist regularly for routine check ups.
- DO NOT SMOKE OR CHEW TOBACCO
In case you are suffering from gingivitis, your dentist will prescribe some antibiotics which will fight with the infection. These antibiotics may be in a form of paste so that you can apply them directly to your gums or they may be in the form of pills so that you can chew or swallow them. There are many antibacterial toothpastes which you might prescribed to use.
In case you are suffering from Periodontitis then a thorough cleaning of plaque or tartar will be carried out by your dentist. This procedure is called as Root Planing and Scaling. However if these procedure does not work then surgery is the best option. Your dentist might suggest you to undergo any of the following surgeries:
- Gingivectomy: This will help in removal of pockets.
- Flap Procedure: Cleans the root and repairs bone damage.
- Extraction: Removes the loose tooth or those which are badly damaged.
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO
To put it across in simple terms: Follow ORAL HYGIENE. You need to ensure that you brush twice daily for 2-3 minutes. You need to ensure that you Floss at least once a day. You need to ensure that you visit your dentist regularly for check up. YOU NEED TO GIVE UP SMOKING AND CHEWING TOBACCO. This is a common dental problem and can affect anyone so maintaining a proper dental hygiene is required. So follow these procedures and keep a regular check on your health to lead a healthy life.