What is Gum Disease?
A gum disease is the inflammation of the gum line that over time can progress to affect the bone that surrounds and supports one’s teeth. There are three stages of this condition that range from the least to the most severe which includes gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis. Numerous factors can cause gum disease. However, a poor oral hygiene is the most common cause.
What are the Types of Gum Disease?
As per the American Academy of Periodontology, there are three types of gum diseases which you must be aware of. They are:
Gingivitis: One of the most common types of gum disease, gingivitis can affect any child, at any age. It is a condition that causes the gums to become sensitive, swollen or even prone to bleeding. If left untreated for a long time, this condition can turn into other types of periodontal diseases.
Aggressive Periodontitis: Gingivitis if left untreated, can lead to aggressive periodontitis that mostly affects the molars and incisors. This condition is quite common in teens and young adults. While aggressive periodontitis often results in the loss of the alveolar bone, it features only small amounts of plaque build-up.
Generalized Aggressive Periodontitis: Post puberty, children can become more prone to another type of gum disease called the generalised aggressive periodontitis. This condition involves the excessive build-up of plaque and attacks the gums, often resulting in loose teeth. Sometimes, gums can also become inflamed and red as the disease attacks the entire mouth and not just the molars.
What are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?
Gum disease can be painless but may progress over time and produce a few signs that are evident. Although the symptoms of the periodontal disease are usually subtle, the condition has many warning signs and may also indicate the onset of some form of illness. A few symptoms of gum disease include:
Sometimes, even if you do not notice any symptoms, you may still have a gum disease. In some people, the condition may affect only certain teeth, such as the molars. In such cases, only a dentist can help recognise and determine the progression of the disease.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Poor oral hygiene and plaque are the primary causes of a gum disease. However, there are other factors too; that contribute to this condition. They include:
Illness: This may affect the condition of one’s gums and includes diseases such as cancer or HIV that hinder with the immune system.
Hormonal Changes: Changes such as those that occur during puberty, monthly menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause, make the gums much more sensitive. Thus, making it easier for the gingivitis to develop.
Medications: These can affect one’s oral health as some medicines lessen the flow of saliva that has a protective effect on the gums and teeth. Also, some medications can cause an abnormal growth of the gum tissue.
Poor Hygiene Habits: Poor oral hygiene habits such as not brushing and flossing your teeth can make it easier for gingivitis to develop.
Bad Habits: Habits such as smoking make it difficult for the gum tissue to repair itself
A Family History of a Dental Disease: This can be a major contributing factor for the development of gingivitis.
How to Treat Gum Disease?
A thorough cleaning by your dentist is the best way to remove all the plaque that is built up and hardened to tartar. Therefore, it is essential that you schedule regular check-ups at least twice a year, to detect and treat a gum disease before it leads to many severe conditions. If the gum disease is advanced, root planning and scaling may be performed to treat the diseased periodontal pockets and gum infections. A dentist uses an ultrasonic scaling device that helps remove plaque, food debris above and below the gum line, tartar and hand scales the tooth and root surfaces to make them smooth and disease free. Sometimes, even laser treatments are used to remove tartar deposits. If in the case you have severe periodontitis, where your periodontal pockets are deep, then a gingival flap surgery may be performed to reduce the periodontal pockets. Also, a bone grafting may be conducted to restore the lost bone.
How Can You Prevent Gum Disease?
The best way to prevent a gum disease is to practise good oral hygiene, although sometimes additional dental and other medical treatments are necessary. Good oral hygiene involves:
At Apollo Clinic’s Dentistry Department, we offer you with the best services and treatments for all your dental conditions. With an ideal combination of customised care, world-class hospitality and a team of skilled dentists covering almost every field of specialisation, we aim at providing you with the highest quality care. Offering you the latest dental treatments for all your dental concerns, including gum disease, we ensure that you have the best treatment and a healthy recovery.