Gum Disease: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment and Everything You Should Know
Oral health has many facets that require professional medical intervention. Thankfully, technology has bridged the gap between human expertise and oral health problems. There is now any treatment to solve the different dental problems, including, toothaches, decays, misaligned teeth, missing teeth, broken and chipped teeth, bleeding, bad breath, and gum disease.
Most people underestimate the length of damage that gum disease can cause on a patient. The gum is a vital soft tissue in the mouth that supports the teeth. The stability of teeth in the mouth is further reinforced by the underlying bones.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is an infection that attacks the gum tissue of teeth. The infection begins with bacterial growth in the mouth that targets the soft tissues. In time, the infection spreads into the bone structure of the teeth. The initial infection has an early effect of the gum tissue is called gingivitis. However, with advancement, gingivitis affects the bones and is then called periodontitis. In the worst cases of periodontitis, teeth call fall out due to loss of bone material.
What Causes Gum Disease?
There are several varying reasons that can result in gum disease. The underlying cause, however, is the buildup of harmful bacteria in the mouth that eats at the soft tissues of the mouth. Some of the risk factors that could result in gum disease include:
- 1. Plaque buildup – for most patients of gum disease, plaque-buildup is the main reason for the infection. Plaque consists of a sticky substance made of food residues, mucus, saliva, and bacteria. With poor oral hygiene, the buildup of this material breed room for infection.
- 2. Family history – when scheduled for a gum disease treatment, your doctor has to check your family history. For some people, gum disease runs in the family.
- 3. Smoking – smoking is harmful to the cells and soft tissues of the body, more so in the mouth.
- 4. HIV/AIDs – victims of this virus often fall culprit of gum disease.
Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease
Before you even think of how to cure it, you must identify whether or not you have gum disease. Typical signs and symptoms to signal gum disease include:
- 1. Bad breath – although several reasons cause bad breath, including illness, medication or stomach issues, periodontal disease does too. If your bad mouth odor does not go away even after efforts of getting rid of it, it could be gum disease.
- 2. Swollen gums – inflammation is a typical response of the body towards infection. If your gum tissue is swollen and red than it should be, check with your dentist for periodontal disease.
- 3. Gum bleeding – the mouth has its own way of controlling bleeding. Even after you bite yourself, the bleeding does not go on for too long. However, with gum disease, the bleeding does not go away. It is especially so when you try to brush your teeth, or even when you bite into foods.
- 4. Pain when chewing – as gum disease advances, the strength of teeth and the bone structure is shaken. Pain from chewing can be because of the pressure you apply to your infected gums and bones.
- 5. Loose teeth – if for no valid reason your teeth start shaking, then looseness could be because of gum disease. This also means that the infection is getting severe you stand to lose more than one tooth if you do not get treated soon enough.
- 6. Receding gums – the only way to know whether your gums are receding is to check the length of your tooth. The part of the tooth that shows above the gums should not be too long. If so, then the gums are receding, and gum disease could have everything to do with it.
Diagnosis and treatment of Periodontal Disease
At the dentist’s office or clinic, a thorough dental examination has to be conducted. The examination will involve some x-rays to examine the state of your teeth and bone structure. Severe damage to the bones can necessitate bone grafting, which should to always be the case. Besides, the dentist will examine the infection by touching to feel the strength and stability of your teeth and bones.
The solutions will then be determined, based on the severity of the infection. Treatment involves:
- 1. Plaque and tartar removal
- 2. Deep cleaning for the teeth
- 3. Quitting smoking
- 4. Bone grafting
- 5. Soft tissue surgery for the gums