Gum Disease or Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums and bones supporting the teeth. The word “Periodontal” means “around the tooth” when taken in literal terms. Gum disease can be confined to a single tooth or infect many teeth. Gum disease actually initiates due to the irritation of the gum by the sticky plaque.
The initial stage of gum disease is called Gingivitis and if left untreated it progresses to a condition known as periodontitis which can have serious implications such as the loss of your teeth. There has been a recent interest in the relation between gum disease and heart attack and it has been proved by several studies that gum disease can increase the risk for heart attack.
Causes of Gum Disease:
A sticky bacterial layer known as plaque constantly forms in our oral cavity and has to be removed by effective brushing. When this is not removed, the bacterial plaque releases certain toxins which irritate the gum causing gum disease. Overtime, the bacterial plaque hardens in to Tartar which can only be removed by your dentist. You are at a risk of developing gum disease if
- You have poor oral hygiene.
- You Smoke or Chew Tobacco
- Someone in your family has gum disease
- Your immunity levels are low due to malnutrition, AIDS or high stress levels.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
Typical symptoms include
- Bleeding Gums even from normal brushing
- Red, swollen and sore gums
- Loose teeth
- Persistent bad breath
- Pus discharge from your teeth
Types of Gum Disease
This is initial stage of gum and characterized by swollen bleeding gums. There might be no pain associated with Gingivitis which is often the cause for people failing to acknowledge the obvious signs of gum disease such as swollen and bleeding gums. Gingivitis can easily be treated by taking maintaining good oral hygiene and it you might also be needed to get your teeth cleaned.
Gingivitis when left untreated progresses to periodontitis which is an advanced stage of gum disease. The bacteria damage the gums and tissues around the tooth leading to formation of “periodontal pockets”. Pockets are the spaces that develop between your teeth and gums which harbor infective bacteria which further damage the gums and the bone. The gums and bone constantly get assaulted by the bacteria which means loose teeth, tooth loss or teeth which you need to get extracted by the dentist.
There are various types of periodontitis such as Aggressive periodontitis, Chronic periodontitis and Necrotizing periodontal disease
Treatment for gum disease
Mild Gum disease can be controlled with out the need of intervention by a dentist. You simply need to take better care of your teeth by brushing and flossing regularly and quit any poor oral habits.
If your gum disease has progressed considerable, you will need a dentist to help you out.
Your teeth and gums will be thoroughly cleaned by the dentist by a procedure known as scaling. A dose of antibiotics might be prescribed to treat the infection. Under extreme circumstances, surgery might be required. Keep in mind that after treatment, you need to maintain your oral hygiene to prevent gum disease.
Gum Disease prevention
You know of the saying ‘Prevention is better than cure”. Preventing gum disease is really easy and simply requires maintaining good oral hygiene by regular brushing and flossing.
Article Taken from - http://www.dentalhealthsite.com/gum-disease/
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