Gum Disease: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Prevention

Gum Disease: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Prevention

Overview

Periodontal (gum) disease refers to an inflammation of the tissues that hold your teeth in place. It starts with a bacterial growth inside your mouth and may lead to teeth loss- if not adequately treated. Gum diseases occur in three stages namely gingivitis, advanced periodontitis and periodontitis. In advanced stages, periodontal
disease can cause bleeding gums, tooth loss, and chewing problems.

What Causes Gum Disease?

Poor flossing and brushing habits are the primary cause of periodontal disease because they allow plaque to accumulate and harden. However, other factors can cause this disease including the following:

  1. Hormonal changes- like those that occur during puberty, menopause and menstruation, causes your gums to become more sensitive thus making it easier for gingivitis to start developing slowly.
  2. Illnesses can affect the nature of your gums. Such diseases include HIV or Cancer that affect the immunity of your body. Diabetes patients also have a higher risk of developing gum diseases.
  3. Medications can affect dental health since some reduce the flow of saliva which protects the teeth and gums.
  4. Bad habits like smoking make it difficult for gum tissues to repair themselves.
  5. Poor Dental Hygiene practices like failing to floss and brush your teeth daily as recommended make it easier for gum disease to develop.
  6. Hereditary factors- if your family has a history of gingivitis, then that could be a contributing factor to your current gum disease.

Spot these 7 Signs of Gum Disease!

Periodontal disease is a common dental health problem that most people easily overlook. Surprisingly, many people focus more on their teeth health while neglecting their gums. Failing to spot gum disease can have dire consequences, since it may lead to tooth loss in both adults and kids. In the meantime, focus on these seven signs of periodontal (gum) disease as listed below:

  1. Swollen, red gums
  2. Changes in bite
  3. Loss of permanent teeth
  4. Regular bad breath
  5. Pus between your teeth
  6. Regular bleeding gums
  7. Recession (gums that have pulled away from your teeth)

Caution: Take charge of your teeth even if you think that your mouth appears spotless. According to the Australian Dental Association, you should visit your dentist at least twice a year for check-ups to avoid the risk of gingivitis.

Diagnosis

At a dental checkup, your dentist will:

  • Examine your gums and detect any symptoms of inflammation
  • Use a probe to measure the pockets inside your mouth
  • Ask about your dental health history or other risk factors (like diabetes or smoking)
  • Take an X-ray to check whether there is any bone loss

How to Keep Your Gums Healthy

Here are the simple things you can do to prevent gum disease as listed below:

  • Brushing your teeth at least twice daily using a fluoride toothpaste
  • Keep up with your oral health checkups, which can help early detection and prevention.
  • Flossing your teeth occasionally to prevent plaque buildup which later causes periodontal disease/
  • If you are a smoker, then you need to quit smoking to improve your dental health.

Final Verdict

You can fight gum disease by observing proper oral hygiene and visiting your dentist regularly
for professional checkups and cleaning.

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