Gum Disease: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Periodontal disease or gum disease is common and not just common for children, often it is found in adults as well. There is a wide spectrum of gum disease and in one form or another; a large percentage of people have it. The forms of gum disease can range from mild to severe causing damage as serious as tooth loss. So what are the causes of Gum Disease?

Causes of Gum Disease/ Periodontitis?

While we all know to include flossing into our daily brushing routine, what we miss turns into tarter and that bacteria cannot be removed by brushing, it needs to be removed with professional cleaning. If it is not removed, it will infect the bone beneath the surface that actually supports the tooth; thus resulting in tooth loss. There is gingivitis which is inflammation of the gums, and periodontitis which is a more severe case resulting when gingivitis is not treated, and this causes inflammation around the tooth. The longer a person goes without treating gum disease, the more serious and permanent it becomes. There are factors that can put you at higher risk for getting gum disease, and they are:

Medications– Some medications can cause dry mouth and reduce the amount of saliva that your mouth produces which allows more bacteria to reside on your teeth and gums.

Smoking– Smoking is a major risk factor for gum disease in addition; smoking can make treatments of gum disease ineffective.

Diseases– Treatments for cancer and immune deficiency diseases can increase the risk of getting gum disease.

Genetic Disposition and Hormones– Some people are more prone to getting gum disease as well as women that go through hormonal changes. In both cases, gums can become more sensitive increasing one’s risk of getting a form of gum disease (National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, n.d.).

Symptoms of Gum Disease

There are several signs of gum disease; I suggest you read over this carefully as you may have at one point in time experienced one or more of these symptoms. Gum disease is caused by bacteria, so it should not be a surprise that a symptom is chronic bad breath. If you or someone you know has chronic bad breath and everything you tried cannot seem to get rid of it, please consult your Dentist. Any number of symptoms that may not seem serious to you because you may not be experiencing pain does not necessarily mean that it isn’t at a serious stage. North Pointe Dental Associates offers comprehensive treatments for general dentistry in North Tampa. It is important to address your concerns at the first sign of any of these symptoms. Red and swollen gums are another symptom of gum disease. Your gums may become very sensitive and noticeably red, including the gums right around your teeth. Consider that gum disease can, however; be found at any place you have gums in your mouth. Sometimes your gums will even bleed or recede. If you notice this you could have a severe case of gum disease and should see your doctor immediately. Once your teeth become loose or sensitive, you could have bone damage beneath the surface of the gums and be at high risk for losing your teeth. It is essential to maintain good dental hygiene (National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, n.d.).

Treatments

 So how can you treat your mouth once you get gum disease? There are different treatments for gum disease and your doctor will consult with you to discuss the most effective route for your case. The doctor may want to take an x-ray to see the extent of damage and determine whether there is any bone loss that supports the tooth. From deep cleanings and scaling to medications, the severity of your case will determine what treatment is best for you. Your doctor may even want to start off with a less progressive treatment and then assess with a follow-up evaluation (National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, n.d.).

Whether you have any symptoms that are listed above or are just at high risk for getting gum disease, it is suggested that you get a routine cleaning and consult with your doctor expressing your concerns. It is always better to nip it in the bud early on. Protect your smile, aren’t you worth it?

References:

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. (n.d.). National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) Improving the Nation’s Oral Health. Retrieved from http://nidcr.nih.gov