Gingivitis or gum disease is a type of infection in the tissues that holds our teeth in place. Gum disease is usually caused due to poor dental habits that result in formation of plaque that forms on the surface of the teeth and hardens with time.
Causes of gum disease
The primary reason of gum disease is the formation of bacteria along with mucus and other particles. Other factors that contribute to this type of periodontal disease are mentioned below:
- Poor dental and oral hygiene such as not brushing on a daily basis, making it easier for gum diseases to develop. Smoking makes it difficult for the gum tissues to repair on their own, aggravating the condition
- A family history of dental disease can also be one of the risk factors for development of gingivitis or gum disease.
- Certain illnesses also affect the health of our gums. Diseases such as HIV, diabetes, and cancer also lead to gum disease as a result of a weakened immune system. Anticonvulsant and anti-angina medications also cause an abnormal growth of gum tissues
- Some studies also suggest that hormonal changes occurring during menstruation, pregnancy, and menopausal period make gums sensitive and susceptible to developing gum disease
The disadvantage of developing gum disease is its painless progression with few obvious signs even in the later stages. The symptoms of this periodontal disease are subtle, yet there are certain symptoms that might point out development of gum disease.
Following mentioned are some signs and symptoms of gum disease:
- Bleeding gums during and after brushing
- Tender, swollen, and red gums
- Bad taste in the mouth and bad breath.
- Receding gums, which also leads to formation of pockets between teeth and gums
Diagnosing gum disease
The dentist will perform a dental exam during which he or she will check for the following symptoms:
- bleeding, swelling, and firmness of the gum and pocket depth. Pocket dept is the space between the tooth and gum. Larger and deeper pockets indicate a more severe gum disease
- checking for teeth movement, sensitivity, and proper teeth alignment
- examining the jawbone, which will help them detect if there is any breakdown of bone surrounding the teeth
Treating gingivitis or gum disease usually reverses symptoms and prevents its progression which might probably lead to tooth loss. Here are some professional gum disease treatments that you can use:
- Professional dental cleaning
This is the initial cleaning process that removes all the traces of plaque, tartar, and other bacterial growth. It is done through a process called scaling and root planing.
- Dental restoration
It is done for misaligned teeth or poorly fitted crowns, bridges or other dental implants that might irritate your gums and cause the development of gingivitis.
- Ongoing care
Gum disease usually clears up by undergoing above-mentioned treatment options and if you continue good oral hygiene at home. If you are consistent with oral hygiene, you will notice the restoration of pink healthy gum tissue within a few days or a couple of weeks.