All About Gum Disease & How to Treat It
Gums are responsible for holding our precious teeth so they should be taken care of. Without proper care, inflammation can occur. Gum disease is an inflammation of the gums that may affect the bones as well. It is caused by plaque; if plaque stay on the teeth for too long, bacteria starts to grow, and the result is inflammation of the gums. Regular brushing can remove the plaque, because if it is not removed regularly, it can cause all sorts of trouble for teeth. Flossing is another solution to remove plaque. The bacteria building up around the plaque infects not only the gums but also the teeth. Then the bacteria will cause damage to the gum tissue and the bones holding our teeth. The result is inflammation and loose gums, along with lots of pain.
Stages of Gum Disease
There are three stages of gum disease:
- Gingivitis: This is the earliest stage of gum disease. This refers to inflammation buildup around the gum line. If the plaque is not removed by brushing and flossing, the bacteria in that plaque will produce toxins that damage the gum tissue. It is quite easy to detect, as you might notice bleeding when you brush. But it is the earliest stage, so damage can be halted as the connective tissues are not yet affected.
- Periodontitis: This is the second stage wherein the supporting bones and fibers are damaged. A pocket is built below the gumline, which will hold food and plaque and make the situation worse.
- Advanced Periodontitis: This is the final stage in which the supporting bones and fibers are severely damaged which may lead to teeth shifting or even losing the teeth. Immediate treatment is necessary at this stage.
How to Detect Gum Disease
There is no age limit for gum disease; it can affect people of all ages. If the gum disease is detected in its early stages, then this disease can be reversed. Let’s have a look at some of the symptoms:
- Tender, swollen, red gums
- Teeth may look longer than usual
- Gums bleed during brushing
- Pus coming from gums
- Bad breath
Detecting the gum disease in the early stages is the most important part. Most of the damage can be reversed if detected early. Proper brushing and regular flossing can prevent the formation of plaque. Those are the steps to prevent gum disease. But what is the treatment if the teeth are already infected? Then it’s time to see a professional for cleaning the teeth and removing the plaque that has already formed. The dentist will clean and scale the teeth to remove the tartar above and below the gum line. If the condition is more severe, a root canal may be required. A root canal procedure helps to smooth irregularities on the roots of the teeth, therefore making it difficult for the plaque to form in there. Thus, gum disease can be prevented with regular brushing and flossing.