26 June 2021
GUM DISEASES: GINGIVITIS & PERIODONTITIS
What defines good dental health? Most people assume that if they have a set of bright and white teeth, their dental health is perfect while the fact is that your dental health does not only mean having the shiny pearls but also considers your gums, tongue and entire oral health. Gums are the foundation for the teeth, these are the pockets that hold your teeth. If the gums are strong and healthy, your teeth will stay strong for long. As essential it is to care for the teeth, nourish good care to your gums as well. Gums are prone to gum diseases like Gingivitis and Periodontitis that lead to loss of teeth. Here is a detailed overview of gum diseases and how to prevent them.
WHAT ARE GUM DISEASES?
When your gums turn red, get swollen, suffer inflammations and bleed, these could be the alarming signs for your gum infections. Gum diseases are usually caused by bacterial build-up, causing inflammation and loosening the hold on the teeth. What initially begins with gum bleeding, lead to mild gum diseases like Gingivitis and severe gum infection like Periodontitis.
WHAT IS GINGIVITIS?
Gums are present below the teeth at a deeper level rather than the gum edges that you see. Plaque builds up every night in the mouth, and hence it is necessary to brush and floss the teeth the following morning to remove the plaque. Plaque is nothing but a sticky film of bacteria and food particles that settle in between the teeth and the gums. These bacterial settlements release harmful acids that attack the calcium-rich outer protective layer of the teeth named enamel. Plaque keeps settling on the gum surface line, in the pockets between the teeth and the gums, causing gum inflammation and bleeding of gums. This condition is known as Gingivitis.
Gingivitis is the initial stage of gum diseases that can be cured by following dental hygiene like brushing and flossing of teeth. Gingivitis is a reversible gum condition that does not lead to loss of teeth but, if left untreated, can become severe.
WHAT IS PERIODONTITIS?
When the plaque is left untreated for 72 hours, it hardens to form blackish tartar that cannot be removed so easily. Gingivitis intensifies to form the severe gum disease Periodontitis that cause the inner level of gums and the bone to pull away from the teeth. This creates a deeper pocket between the teeth and the gum surfaces where bacteria, plaque and food debris get collected in the pockets. It leads to infections and loosens the hold of the teeth, and the teeth start shaking. As the pockets get deeper, gum tissues and bones get destroyed, leading to teeth removal. Periodontitis is the most severe form of gum infections that cause irreversible damage to the teeth and gums.
CAUSES FOR GUM DISEASES
- Poor Oral Hygiene
As mentioned above, when you don’t brush and floss your teeth regularly, bacteria keep settling and destroy the teeth enamel, gums and bones.
Plaque is nothing but a build-up of bacteria and debris that settles in the gaps between the teeth and the gums where bacteria harbor and release harmful acids that attack the enamel and cause various other dental infections.
Smoking is a major cause of gum diseases and oral cancer. Also, smoking makes it difficult for gum tissues to repair and recover.
Certain medical conditions like diabetes, cancer and other diseases interfere with the normal functioning of the immune system. When the immunity power of the body reduces, the body’s ability to fight the germs and bacteria diminishes, and hence, bacteria keep settling and worsening and damaging the gums, bones and teeth.
SYMPTOMS OF GUM DISEASES
- Bleeding of gums
- Swollen and red gums
- Bad breath
- Receding gums
- Loose or shifting teeth
- Loss of teeth
PREVENTION OF GUM DISEASES
Gum diseases can be prevented by following the below steps:
- Brush and floss your teeth regularly to remove the plaque built overnight and also to remove the food particles and debris stuck in between the teeth.
- Rinse your mouth with mouthwash to remove the sticky, sugary foods stuck in the mouth that get fed on by the harmful bacteria in the mouth.
- Consume calcium-rich and tooth-friendly foods that boost your dental health.
- Follow the necessary practices that strengthen your immune system to fight bacteria and plaque.
- Give up on bad habits like smoking that weaken the gums.
- Reduce the stress levels as stress and anxiety also weaken the gums.
- If you have the habit of grinding or clenching your teeth, get it treated or wear a mouthguard.
If you find the early symptoms of gum diseases or your gums get infected, visit the best dental clinic in Tracy, The Elite Dental care for the treatment of gum diseases like Gingivitis and Periodontitis. We specialize in dental treatments, cosmetic dentistry and intensive dental care. Keep reading our blogs to find more dental care tips and oral hygiene tips.