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Everything You Should Know About Gum Disease

Gum disease is a quite common condition that affects many people all over the world. It can develop asymptomatically or cause obvious symptoms. Many people neglect their condition and start gum disease treatment when it causes serious complications. In this article, we will tell you everything you should know about gum disease.

What is gum disease?

Gum disease is a condition that occurs when bacteria infect gums and lead to their inflammation. It is essential to understand that gum disease can affect both children and adults. Moreover, 47.2% of adults aged 30 years and 70.1% of adults 65 years and older have some form of gum disease. 

There are two main stages of gum disease called gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis affects only the oral cavity while periodontitis can impact your overall health. It can increase your risk of getting diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, heart disease, and many other conditions. That’s why it is extremely important to pay sufficient attention to the condition of your oral cavity.

Symptoms of gum disease

Many people don’t experience any obvious signs of the initial stage of gum disease. However, gingivitis can manifest itself through:

  • Bad breath

  • Red, swollen, and tender gums

  • Gum bleeding

  • Receding gums

Without timely and efficient treatment, gingivitis can progress and turn into periodontitis that can cause:

  • Puss between the teeth

  • Swollen and bleeding gums

  • Gum pockets

  • Teeth sensitivity (due to exposed roots of the teeth)

  • Loose teeth

  • Tooth loss

If you have noticed at least some of the aforementioned symptoms, don’t delay your dental appointment. Proper treatment can help ease your symptoms and prevent the development of serious complications.

Causes of gum disease

As mentioned above, gum disease is caused by bacteria that inhabit your oral cavity. When the amount of these bacteria increases significantly, they can lead to gum infection. That’s why people who don’t maintain proper oral hygiene are more likely to develop gum disease. 

Risk factors for gum disease

Some people are more prone to gum disease than others. For example, smokers often have gum disease since tobacco by-products get stuck to their teeth and create a perfect environment for bacteria.

Other risk factors for gum disease include:

  • Diabetes

  • Family history of gum disease

  • Hormonal imbalance

  • Vitamin C deficiency

  • Poor eating habits

  • Certain medications that cause dry mouth or gum changes

  • Health issues that affect the immunity system

People who are at risk for developing gum disease should pay sufficient attention to their oral hygiene and visit a dentist on a regular basis to check the condition of their gums.

Treatment options for gum disease

It is important to understand that the earlier you start the treatment, the more effective it can be. Treatment options for gingivitis include scaling, root planing, and antibiotics. Unfortunately, there is no cure for periodontitis, but timely and proper treatment can help ease your symptoms and improve the condition of your gums. You may undergo gingivitis treatment options in combination with surgical procedures to restore lost gums, teeth, and bones. Additionally, proper oral hygiene, a healthy diet, regular teeth cleaning procedures, and getting rid of bad habits (like chewing tobacco and smoking) can help cope with gum disease.

Prevention of gum disease

If you want to prevent the development of gum disease, you need to maintain proper oral hygiene, eat healthy foods, drink enough water, and visit your dentist regularly. Proper oral hygiene includes tooth brushing twice a day (in the morning before meals and in the evening after meals), flossing once a day, and using a mouthwash. A healthy diet and sufficient water consumption can help supply your gums with all the necessary nutrients and moisture. Regular dental check-ups can help monitor the condition of your gums and start gum disease treatment as early as possible.

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Written by Amelia Grant

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