Gum disease is a bacterial plague disease characterized by soreness, infection or swelling of the tissues supporting the teeth. Most people experience it at least once, but less common in children. It occurs in two forms; periodontal and gingivitis disease.

 

Types gum disease

Gingivitis – This is the mildest form of periodontal disease that results in inflammation of the gums. The gums around the teeth become very red and swollen. Most times, the swollen gums bleed when brushing your teeth or cleaning.

Periodontal disease – This is as a result of untreated gingivitis. The gum is affected as well as the bone anchoring the teeth in the jaw (if it gets worse). It can also lead to tooth loss or falling out of the teeth if not treated.

Causes of gum disease

  • Inadequate oral hygiene.
  • Genetic predisposition.
  • Inadequate nutrition.
  • Hormonal fluctuations.
  • Substance abuse.
  • HIV infection
  • Infrequent dental care
  • Insufficient calcium intake
  • Inflammatory response by the body.
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes.
  • Sjögren’s syndrome (causes decreased saliva production).
  • Stress(increases your hormones that makes make you easily susceptible to infection).
  • Pregnancy and birth controlpills can also increase hormone levels.
  • Steroids, antiseizure medicines, cancermedicines, blood pressure medicines and some other drugs can all affect the gums, and decrease the flow of saliva, irritate the mouth and make it prone to infection.

 

Symptoms/Signs

  • Bad breath or Halitosis.
  • Red or swollen gums.
  • Tender or bleeding gums.
  • Pain when chewing.
  • Teeth loss.
  • Deep pockets between the teeth and the gums
  • Sensitive teeth.
  • Receding gums or longer appearing teeth

 

Preventive measures

  • Brush your teeth twice a day (with approved fluoride toothpaste).
  • Floss regularly to remove plaque between teeth. Or use a device such as a special brush or wooden or plastic pick recommended by a dental professional.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Regular or routine visit to your dentist for a check-up and professional cleaning.

 

Diagnosis

The diagnosis of gum disease is usually established by inspecting the soft gum tissues around the teeth through clinical examination, and by evaluating the patient’s X-ray films with radiographic examination, in other to determine the amount of damage caused or bone loss around the teeth.

 

Treatment of gum disease

Practicing good oral hygiene is an efficient and effective way to treat gum disease. The dental and medical treatments that are recommended are:

  • Mouthwash- The antiseptic mouthwashes contain chlorhexidine or hexetidine that helps to fight gum infection.
  • Scale and polishThis is used to remove plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) that can build up on the teeth. It is a usually carried out as dental surgery by a dental hygienist or professional.
  • Antibiotics – Treatment may be done using antibiotics such as; metronidazole or amoxicillin, which is taken as recommended by your physician.

 

Article By: eDokita Team

 

Reference

  1. ORG. Types and causes of Gum Diseases. 2016
  2. National Institute of Dental Craniofacial Research. Symptoms and Prevention of Gum Diseases. 2014
  3. Bonner M. To Kiss or Not to Kiss: A cure for gum disease. Amyris Editions, 2013 EAN : 978-28755-2016-6
  4. Noble JM, Borrell LN, Papapanou PN, Elkind MS, Scarmeas N, Wright CB (2009).”Periodontitis is associated with cognitive impairment among older adults: analysis of NHANES-III”. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry80 (11): 1206- 11. Doi:1136/jnnp.2009.174029. PMC 3073380. PMID 19419981.
  5. NHS Choices. Gum Diseases: treatment. 2016
  6. Periodontis. 2016. Web