Gum disease is a common oral condition. The early stage of this disease is called gingivitis and can be treated by maintaining good oral care. If ignored at this stage, it can develop into severe periodontitis, which weakens the bone around the teeth, causing it to become loose and eventually fall out. At Perfect Smile Dentistry, Kavitha Gowda, DDS, has been helping men and women to develop healthy oral hygiene and treat gum disease in Everett, Washington.
Here are the essential facts you should know about gum diseases.
Gum Disease Can Have an Impact on Your Overall Health
Gum disease does not only affect your oral health but also has severe effects on your overall body health. Gum disease has been likened to other severe health conditions like respiratory diseases, stroke, heart disease, and pregnancy complications. Research has shown that complications associated with this disease could be a result of inflammation.
Causes of Gum Disease
Food particles, mucus, and bacteria combine to form a plaque on the teeth. To prevent the development of this plaque, ensure you brush or floss your mouth regularly. When you fail to brush your teeth, the plaque hardens to form tartar that cannot be removed by brushing. Eventually, you’ll have to schedule an appointment with a dental hygienist to remove it.
Several factors cause this disease, smoking being the most significant. Other factors causing gum disease include genetic susceptibility, illnesses such as HIV and AIDS, diabetes mellitus, hormonal exchange in both girls and women, as well as medications that reduce the flow of saliva in the mouth.
Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease
The early signs of gum disease are having bleeding gums when you floss or brush your mouth and unusual redness in the gums. Other signs are:
- Persistent bad breath
- Teeth sensitivity to extremely cold or hot foods, which is caused by gums that have pulled away from the teeth
- Loose teeth that cause pain when chewing
- Changes in the fit of dentures or other oral restorations
- Changes in you bite alignment
When you experience any of the above signs, it is time that you seek the services of a professional dental specialist.
How to Prevent Gum Disease
It is better to prevent this disease from occurring rather than treating it. Here are the simple practices to help you maintain healthy gums:
- Schedule regular appointments with your dentist for regular check-ups and teeth cleanings.
- Ensure that you change your toothbrush every three months.
- Brush your teeth and ensure you put more concentration on the back teeth as they are the most vulnerable to having plaque buildup.
- If you have a problem with bleeding gums, use a toothbrush with soft bristles to avoid hurting them.
Diagnosis of Gum Disease
The dentist examines your gums using a tiny ruler called a probe, where they check for any pockets around your teeth. They also check for any signs of inflammation and ask about any previous treatment you have been involved with. They can use an x-ray to determine whether you have bone loss.
Treatment of Gum Disease
Your dentist or hygienist can offer the necessary treatment. The practitioner will use a local anaesthetic when cleaning out tartar and other bacteria deposits from the teeth. If you fail to respond well to the treatment procedures, the dentist may recommend you to take prescribed antibiotics which prevent aggressive gum infections. The dentist may also recommend the addition of an antiseptic mouthwash to your routine.