Everything You Must Know about Gum Disease
Have you spotted blood on your toothbrush when brushing your teeth recently? That bleeding might be a result of gum disease. In its mild form, the condition is known as gingivitis. Individuals with gingivitis have an infection that only affects their gums.
If you ignore your gingivitis symptoms and don't seek gum disease treatment at the right time, things can get much worse. Specifically, the infection might spread to your bone. A gum infection that spreads beyond the gum line is known as periodontitis.
Both gingivitis and periodontitis can increase your chances of developing health disorders such as heart disease, pneumonia, diabetes, osteoporosis, and cancer. The only way to prevent such consequences is early detection of the problem followed by treatment. Below are some of the most common symptoms of gum disease and the treatment options available at the moment.
Gum Disease Symptoms
Swollen, red gums: During the initial stages, individuals with gum disease develop inflammation along their gum line. The affected area might become tender and brushing and flossing may result in bleeding gums.
Bad breath: The oral cavity is home to a range of bacteria. These microorganisms feed on your plaque. The more plaque you have in your oral cavity the greater the number of bacteria present there. These bacteria produce toxins that can irritate your teeth and gums and result in a bad odor. If the bad odor doesn't go away even after brushing, you have most likely developed gingivitis.
Gums getting smaller: If you see your gums shrink and teeth appear longer, you must book an appointment with your dentist. These changes usually take place when bones start to break down due to an infection. The medical term used for this condition is "receding gums".
Sensitive teeth: If your teeth have become extremely sensitive and you are struggling to drink anything cold, you may be suffering from gum disease. Individuals with tooth sensitivity must not ignore the problem and undergo a thorough dental inspection as early as possible.
Treatment Options Available for Patients with Gum Disease
Deep cleaning: If your gum disease gets detected at an early stage, treatment may start with deep cleaning. Unlike regular dental cleaning, which cleans just the region above your gum line, deep cleaning would clean even the area under your gum line.
Your dentist might also carry out a procedure called scaling. During the procedure, the dentist would scrape off the tartar from both below and above your gum line. You may also need to undergo root planing, a process used to smooth out the rough surfaces of your teeth.
Medications: As gum disease results from bacterial infection, your treatment might involve the use of antibiotic gel and oral antibiotics. Your dentist may also ask you to take a few doses of an enzyme suppressant following the deep cleaning of your teeth.
Surgery: If deep cleaning fails to cure your gum disease, you may need to undergo surgery. It can be gum graft surgery or flap surgery.
You can prevent the onset of gum disease by brushing your teeth and flossing regularly. An annual dental checkup might also help in the prevention and early detection of the problem.