Diseases of the gum are one of the most common causes of tooth loss among adults. Commonly, there are three stages of gum diseases: gingivitis, periodontitis and acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis (ANUG). But the root cause of all these conditions is bacterial attack.
Gum disease is mainly caused by plaque deposit around the gum lines of the teeth. The bacteria in plaque produce acids and other toxins that can destroy bone and gum tissue over a period of time.This is more likely to happen if you find it difficult to clean your teeth well, for example if you wear braces, dentures or have irregularities in your teeth that you can’t reach with a toothbrush.
Apart from this there are several other factors that could lead up to inflammation of the gums. If you smoke or have diabetes, you are more at risk for diseases of the gum. Also, you are more likely to get gingivitis in case you are going through a hormonal change such as during pregnancy or at puberty.
To prevent periodontal diseases, only brushing is not enough. It is mainly the plaque that needs to be removed from your teeth on a daily basis. Hence, it is very important that you floss your teeth daily. If there’s plaque on your teeth, it will harden into a thick deposit called tartar. If tartar is allowed to remain on the teeth and gum lines, it can lead to chronic infection and inflammation. Using anti-bacterial mouthwashes also helps in fighting plaque.
On many occasions, you may not even know that you are suffering from a gum disease. Listed below are the signs of a gum condition you should watch out for:
- Are your gums bleeding easily?
- Your gums are extremely red, tender and swollen.
- There’s pus between your teeth and gums.
- You have chronic bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth.
- You have problems while biting your food.
- Your teeth are loose or they are separating.
If you are having any of these symptoms, it’s time that you visit your dentist. There are several treatment options available for curing gum disease, the most common being scaling. In this process, the doctor cleanses your teeth thoroughly using an electronic device called scalers.
However, in extreme cases you might need a gum surgery. But such instances are very rare. There are a number of types of surgery that can help to build your gum tissue back up after it has shrunk from gum disease. You dentist might refer you to a periodontist for this.