What Nobody Tells You about Gum Disease
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What Nobody Tells You about Gum Disease

Periodontal or gum disease is an infection that attacks the tissues holding your teeth in position. Typically, it is caused by improper oral hygiene practices that allow plaque build-up. Plaque is a sticky, colorless substance that coats the teeth. If not removed, it hardens to form tartar that settles at the bottom of your tooth. Only professional cleaning can eliminate tartar. Gum disease causes chewing difficulties, bleeding gums, or even permanent tooth loss if it progresses.

Periodontitis vs. Gingivitis

Though used synonymously by some people, these are two completely different terms. While gingivitis refers to gum inflammation, periodontitis refers to gum disease and damage of the bone, tissue, or both.

Gingivitis usually precedes periodontitis, although it doesn’t have to always progress to this stage. With gingivitis, plaque builds up on the tooth surface, causing the reddening and inflammation of gums. This may cause bleeding during your brushing routine. However, it is essential to note that this condition only irritates the gums but doesn’t loosen your teeth. Nothing is irreversible at this stage.

Gum Disease Risk Factors

Although anyone can develop gum disease, certain factors make you more susceptible:

  • Tobacco chewing or smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Certain medications like steroids, oral contraceptives, chemotherapy, anticonvulsants, and calcium channel blockers
  • Crooked teeth
  • Poorly-fitting dental appliances
  • Pregnancy
  • Broken fillings
  • Genetic factors
  • Weakened immunity system
  • Hormonal imbalances in females during adolescence, menopause, and pregnancy

Symptoms of Gum Disease

The following signs could indicate you have gum disease:

  • Red, tender gums
  • Bleeding gums during brushing or flossing
  • Recessed gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Bite problems
  • Formation of pus between gums and teeth
  • Pain during chewing
  • Increased tooth sensitivity
  • Poorly-fitting dentures
  • Bad breath
  • Shifting teeth

Gum Disease Diagnosis

If you go to Harmony Dental Care for gum disease treatment in Oshawa, ON, the dentist or hygienist will:

Examine the gums for inflammation

  • Probe the gums using a tiny ruler to measure the size of pockets around your teeth. If the depth s between one and three millimeters, your mouth is healthy. It should be remembered that this exercise is entirely painless.
  • Request for your medical history. This helps them identify the cause of gum disease.

Also, the dental professional may:

  • Perform x-rays to check for bone loss
  • Send you to a gum disease expert hat may offer you the treatment you may not get at your dental office.

Treating Gum Disease

For gingivitis treatment, acceptable oral hygiene practices are crucial. Also, you should quit smoking and keep your diabetes in check. The treatment aims at controlling the infection and may vary based on how extensive the condition is.

Some other treatment options include:

  • Tooth Deep Cleaning: Several techniques can be used for deep cleaning your teeth. All of them eliminate tartar and plaque. Scaling gets rid of tartar both below and above the gum line. Root planing helps smoothen rough spots and remove tartar and plaque from the surface of the root. With the help of dental lasers, the dentist can remove tartar painlessly.
  • Medications: You can use an antiseptic mouthwash to rinse your mouth or have antiseptic chips containing chlorhexisine inserted in the pockets when root planing is over. Also, you can opt for flap surgery. During this procedure, your gums are lifted, and plaque and tartar are extracted from deeper sockets. Afterward, the dentist sutures the gums to fit around your tooth. In case the damage can’t be reversed, bone and tissue grafts are recommended.

Associated Health Conditions

A report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that people with heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, and stroke are more vulnerable to gum disease. The disease also heightens the risk of premature births and low birth-weight infants. Although these conditions are associated with gum disease, there is no proof that it causes them.

Periodontal disease increases the risks of postmenopausal women developing breast cancer. The same applies to tobacco smokers. Diabetes patients with gum disease also find it difficult controlling their blood sugar.

Preventing Gum Disease

You need not deal with gum disease’s pain and costs if it is possible to evade them altogether. Here are some tips to keep gingivitis away:

  • Regularly visit the dentist
  • Brush twice every day and floss once daily. Use fluoride toothpaste.
  • Feed on healthy foods

Quit smoking

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