Periodontal disease is a repetitive, chronic bacterial infection and swelling that occurs around one's gum tissue because of the presence of harmful bacteria in the plaque. When the destructive bacteria present in the mouth causes infection of the gums, it will lead to gum inflammation and soft-tissue damage. If the condition is left untreated for long, it can further advance, causing tooth loss and jawbone deterioration.
Types of Gum Diseases
Gum diseases can be broadly categorized into two, depending on the severity of the condition:
Gingivitis is the initial stage of gum disease and can develop as a result of various factors like smoking, stress, diabetes, etc. The condition starts with swollen, red, and bleeding gums. During this stage, people generally do not experience any pain or discomfort. However, it is important to follow proper oral hygiene practices and get the condition treated by a dental professional at the earliest.
If gingivitis is not identified and treated on time, periodontitis can occur. The plaque and tartar accumulated on the teeth can spread all over and lead to the formation of harmful bacteria in the mouth. These bacteria can hurt the gums, cause infection and separate the gums from the teeth. Furthermore, it could cause gum issues that can weaken and destroy the gums and the bone encompassing the teeth, leading to ultimate tooth loss.
What can lead to gingivitis and periodontitis?
The major risk factors that can cause gingivitis and periodontitis are as follows:
- Improper oral hygiene habits - not brushing and flossing
- Use of tobacco
- Intake of medications like oral contraceptives, anticonvulsants, steroids, calcium channel blockers, and chemotherapy drugs.
- Crooked teeth.
- Ill-fitting dental appliances.
- Genetics and family history of dental disease
- Worn-out or broken fillings.
- Hormonal changes that are occurring during pregnancy, adolescence, menopause, and menstruation.
- Weakened immunity due to conditions like HIV/AIDS
Signs of gum disease include:
- Gums that bleed during brushing or flossing
- Red gums
- Swollen or tender gums
- Receding gums
- Loosening of teeth
- Shifting of the teeth, leading to the alteration in bite
- Increased teeth sensitivity to hot and cold
- Pain while biting or chewing food
- Persistent bad breath
- Bad taste in the mouth
- Development of periodontal pockets between teeth and gums
Though these are the major symptoms of gum disease, not everyone may have these symptoms. Besides, some of them might get unnoticed, although the patient still has gum disease. So, it is important to visit your dentist at least once every six months so that your dentist at All Smile Dental can identify and determine the progress of gum disease.
How will your dentist at All Smile Dental identify gum disease?
When you visit our dental office for a dental checkup, our dentist will check for these things:
- Gum bleeding, stiffness, inflammation, swelling, and periodontal pocket depth. A large and deep gum pocket indicates that the patient has severe gum disease.
- Teeth movement and alignment.
- Teeth sensitivity.
- The jawbone to identify if there is any bone loss.
- Helpful tips from All Smile Dental to combat gum disease
- Brush your teeth twice every day using fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss your teeth every day to eliminate plaque and tartar from the area between teeth.
- Visit your dentist at All Smile Dental for regular dental checkups and professional cleaning.
- Quit the use of tobacco.