Understanding What Gum Disease Is

A smile is one of the most beautiful and inexpensive things that one can ever wear. When given to the right person and at the right time, it can greatly influence what the receiver of the smile does next. One of the things that can reduce the power of your perfect smile is gum disease. If you do not want this disease to rob you of your natural asset, you should familiarize yourself with the various aspects that surround it, which are explained below.

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease (also referred to as periodontal disease) is an oral health problem that develops in the space between the teeth and the gum line. The disease ranges from a simple gum inflammation to serious damage to the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth.

Types of Gum Disease

The first type is gingivitis, which is the first stage of gum disease. This type results in swollen, irritated gums that bleed easily. You can prevent gingivitis by observing good oral health habits, which include daily brushing and flossing. Regular professional teeth cleanings can also help a great deal in preventing the disease. The upside of gingivitis is that it is reversible.

The second type of gum disease is periodontitis, which is an advanced case of gingivitis. This disease causes the gums to radically recede from the teeth, resulting in the formation of infected pockets. Without proper treatment, periodontitis can not only lead to the falling out of teeth, but it can also compromise your overall health.

Common Causes of Gum Disease

  • Poor oral habits i.e. failure to brush and floss teeth.
  • Use of tobacco products.
  • Crooked teeth.
  • Old and flawed fillings.
  • Hormonal fluctuations, especially during pregnancy.
  • Dental bridges that don't fit appropriately.
  • Stress.
  • Systemic diseases such as HIV/AIDs, diabetes and cancer.
  • Taking certain medications, including antidepressants, oral contraceptives (especially those that leave the mouth dry), steroids and some blood pressure drugs.

Signs & Symptoms of Gum Disease

  • Bleeding gums
  • Tender and swollen gums
  • Increased tooth sensitivity
  • Persistently bad breath
  • Sour taste in the mouth
  • Loose teeth or increased space between the teeth
  • Pain when chewing

Effects of Leaving Gum Diseases Untreated

If ignored, you will have more things to worry about than the loss of your teeth and dashing smile. Untreated gum disease is known to trigger stroke and heart disease. It also increases the chance of low baby birth weight if the mother has untreated gum disease. Untreated gum disease has also been linked to trouble controlling blood sugar.

Treatment Options for Gum Disease

Treatment varies depending on the severity of the disease, i.e. whether its gingivitis or periodontitis. Treatment options vary from regular deep cleanings and oral medications to surgery.

Now that you know that gum disease is mostly caused by one's negligence, it's best that you improve your overall oral health, as well as have dental checkups and cleanups carried out regularly through a company like Family Dental Center TriCities, PC.