Unlike teeth problems that manifest in painful experiences, gum disease is usually painless and might go unnoticed for a long time. Gum disease is a form of inflammation that occurs on the tissues supporting the teeth. In its early stages, gum disease is known as gingivitis, which is a condition that varies in severity.
To identify gum problems, you need to keep an eye on the following stages:
Stage 1: Plaque attack
You will notice some inflammation of the gum tissue that arises due to the formation of plaque on the gumline and teeth. Your dentist will use minimally invasive treatments such as professional dental cleaning. After a professional cleaning, you will need to brush and floss your teeth and gum regularly to eliminate the signs of gingivitis.
Stage 2: Burrowing of the bone
This happens in the advanced stages of gum disease, also known as periodontitis. Periodontitis is a more serious gum problem that can cause the loss of tissue and bone throughout the mouth. Its treatment requires the dentist to use more invasive methods such as removing plaque and germs beneath the gumline, and deep cleaning of the root surface.
What are the causes of gum disease?
The main cause of gum disease is poor oral hygiene, which leads to bacteria build up in the teeth and gums. Other contributing factors include:
• Poor teeth alignment, which contributes to calculus and plaque build-up.
• Infection caused by cancer and cancer treatment
• Chewing tobacco, smoking and drinking alcohol, which makes it difficult for the gum tissue to heal. • Declined immunity due to stress, poor nutrition or diseases such as diabetes mellitus.
• Hormonal changes during menopause, pregnancy, and puberty that make blood vessels more susceptible to bacterial attack.
Signs and symptoms of gum disease
You need to visit your dentist if you notice:
• Swelling and bleeding of gums that happens when brushing or flossing
• Mouth odour that does not go away
• Pus between gums
• Loosening of teeth
• Bright red gum or white spots on the gums
Gum disease treatment and remedies
As indicated above, the main cause of gum problems is poor oral hygiene. Therefore, the number one remedy for gum disease is maintaining good oral hygiene to avoid bacteria build up.
For advanced gum problems, you need to see a dentist or dental hygienist who will remove the plaque from your gum. Deep cleaning is the most common solution for gum disease.