Everything You Need To Know About Gum Disease

Improper care of the teeth and a poor oral hygiene routine are the leading causes of dental infections and diseases. Regular brushing and flossing of the teeth help to get rid of bacteria, food particles, and other disease-causing agents in the mouth. When these oral hygiene habits are irregular or not performed, the mouth becomes a breeding space for bacteria and other dental diseases and infections. A primary dental disease-causing agent that forms due to improper care and poor oral hygiene habits is dental plaque.

A dental plaque is a sticky, slimy film that attaches itself to the surface of the teeth. Dental plaques are made of bacteria, saliva, and sugary/starchy food remnants. They feed on these sugar/starchy food particles to produce acids. Dental plaques are the known leading cause of tooth decay. The acids they make wear down the tooth enamel and cause decay. However, tooth decay is not the only damage plaques can cause to dental health. When they are not cleaned through brushing or flossing the teeth, they harden and become tartar or calculus. The heavy presence of bacteria in plaques or tartar causes them to irritate the gums leading to gum disease.

Gum disease in its early stage is referred to as gingivitis, and when left untreated, it can worsen to become periodontitis. Gingivitis occurs when bacteria buildup from the heavy presence of dental plaques causes gum inflammation. This can lead to bleeding while brushing or flossing. Refusal to get treatment for gum disease in Shavertown, PA, can cause gingivitis to worsen and become periodontitis. Periodontitis is an aggravated stage of gum disease in which the lack of gum infection treatment causes damage to the soft tissues and destroys the bones that support the teeth. They can cause the tooth to become loose and unstable. If the infection is left unchecked, you might lose the teeth or even require the extraction of the tooth by a Back Mountain Dental dentist in Shavertown, PA.

While tooth decay is the primary cause of gum disease, other factors can increase your risk of gum disease. Risk factors for gum diseases include:

  • Diabetes.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Crooked teeth.
  • Genetics.
  • Poorly fitting dental devices.
  • Broken dental fillings.
  • Medications such as oral contraceptives, chemotherapy, steroids, anticonvulsants, etc.
  • Weak immunity.
  • Smoking, chewing, and other forms of tobacco ingestion.

Symptoms Of Gum Disease

Gum disease at its earlier stage (gingivitis) might not be easily detected. Some people might not even be aware that they have gum disease until it worsens and becomes periodontal disease. The following are signs that you have gum disease:

  • Bleeding of the gum while brushing or flossing the teeth.
  • The teeth can appear tender, red, and swollen.
  • Tooth abscess. This is when a pocket of pus is in between the teeth and the gums.
  • Halitosis. This occurs when you have a foul-smelling breath that doesn’t go away even after brushing.
  • Gums that have pulled away from the teeth.
  • Loose teeth.
  • Sensitivity of the teeth to hot or cold temperatures.
  • Pain or discomfort while chewing.
  • Malocclusion. This is when there is a change in how your teeth fit together when you bite.
  • Dental treatment devices like partial dentures no longer fit.

Treatment Of Gum Diseases

Gingivitis Treatment

Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease and can be reversed through home remedies and practices, which could have helped its prevention. These home remedies and lifestyle practices include:

  • Using a soft toothbrush and replacing it every three months.
  • Brushing the teeth twice daily or after every meal, if possible.
  • Usage of mouth rinses to reduce the survival of dental plaques.
  • Avoid smoking or chewing tobacco.
  • Floss regularly.

Other treatment methods for gingivitis include a professional dental cleaning to eliminate dental plaques and tartar and restorative dentistry procedures.

Periodontitis Treatment

The advanced stage of gum disease, known as periodontitis, can be treated both surgically and nonsurgically.

The non-surgical treatment of periodontitis include:

  • Root planing. This involves smoothing the tooth root surfaces to prevent plaque or tartar buildup.
  • Scaling. This involves using instruments to remove tartar and bacteria from the tooth surface and beneath the gums.
  • Antibiotics. The use of antibiotics can help to control and eliminate bacterial infections.

Surgical treatments for periodontitis include flap surgery, bone grafts, soft tissue grafts, etc.

Good oral hygiene habits and practices can keep your mouth free of bacteria causing gum diseases.