Gums are a very important part of oral health. They hold the teeth in position, all while connecting the blood vessels and nerve endings to the individual teeth. In that case, taking good care of your gums goes a long way in ensuring proper oral health.
Understanding what gum disease entails is the best place to start figuring out the treatment you need. Gum disease is an inflammation of the tissues around your gums. Usually, the disease comes in two distinct types.
Gingivitis – This is the first type of gum disease. It shows up in the early stages of infection and inflammation of the gums. Gingivitis affects only the soft tissues surrounding the teeth, which is the gum. For the most part, gingivitis results from poor dental hygiene.
When you do not brush your teeth properly you encourage the formation of bad bacteria in your mouth. The residues from the food you chew combine with saliva to form bacteria. Over time, the bacteria from plaque and tartar, which are very dangerous for oral health. This eventually breeds an infection that affects the soft parts of your mouth.
Periodontitis – following gingivitis, periodontitis is a more severe gum infection. It is a condition that results when the infection on your gums spreads to the bones. When the bone structure supporting your gum are infected and inflated, then the condition is more serious than before.
Periodontitis causes the gums to start residing from the teeth. This leaves you with an unsightly gum structure that can be described as deep gum pockets. At this level you are a great risk of damaging your teeth, weakening them or losing them. Some serious cases of periodontitis call for root canal therapy for some patients.
Before you brush off any pains around your gums and teeth, consider the following five signs of gum disease:
The very first thing you should notice about the state of your gums is the inflammation. Gum disease causes your gums to be swollen. Often, they will turn red and inflamed along the gum line. When this happens, it is common for the gums t also become tender. The tenderness might be followed by slight bleeding when you chew on something hard, or every time you brush your teeth.
Bad breath has a lot to do with poor dental hygiene. Since gum disease is linked to poor hygiene too, then the bad breath is an obvious consequence. If people are complaining about your breath, you may need to consider checking your gums for gingivitis.
White spots may start forming on your gum line surrounding your teeth. This is usually bacteria eating up on your soft tissues. Some of the white spots could be plaque building up gradually. Besides, the white spots can turn into sores. In time, you might even have pus between gums.
When your gums are infected, they not only swell, but they also shrink. With time, you will have large gum pockets that are lower than usual. You will only notice this when your teeth look bigger than you remember them to be. This is more often the case when the gum disease has advanced from gingivitis to periodontitis.
Periodontitis can get so bad that the stability of your teeth is in question. If you start to experience some wiggling of your teeth, then be alarmed for gum disease. Watch out for gradual shifting of teeth as it could mean that your bone structure is significantly infected.
Thankfully, gum disease is not a terminal disease. It can be treated and eliminated, just like sleep apnea treatment treats heavy snoring. The treatment of gum disease focuses on controlling the infection. After a thorough inspection by your dentist, you can commence your gum disease treatment.
The first step is usually deep cleaning. To get rid of the bacteria, plaque, tartar and any abscess deep cleaning is necessary. After scraping off the tartar from your gum line, the dentist then performs root planing to help the gum properly reattach to your teeth.
The dentist can then prescribe some medication to aid with the healing process. However, you have to practice active dental hygiene to maintain the results.