This is a very common dental condition which effects practically everyone at sometime in their lives.It is mainly caused by build up of plaque on the teeth which leads to red , swollen gums which bleed when brushed.
There are two types of gum disease : Gingivitis and Periodontitis
WHAT IS GUM DISEASE?
This is a condition caused by a bacterial infection within a tooth or the mouth which affects the gums causing an inflammation and in some cases receding gums.This is often caused by the presence of plaque –a sticky , bacterial substance found on the surface of the teeth which is not removed targets the gums.These bacteria are responsible for the red , inflamed appearance of the gums which often bleed when brushed with a toothbrush.
CAUSES OF GUM DISEASE
Tooth decay appears to be the main culprit but there are a few other causes which include poor dental hygiene , routine medical conditions such as diabetes ; a poorly functioning immune system and smoking .Other factors include genetics , hormonal changes such as pregnancy or the menopause,stres and the side effects of certain medications.All of these increase the number of bacteria in the mouth which are a known cause of infections such as this.
SYMPTOMS OF GUM DISEASE
- What happens is that the bacteria produce toxins which attack the tissue and bone of a tooth which causes them to die.This loss then results in a loosening of the tooth and in some cases causes the tooth to fall out.
- Bad breath
- Swollen (inflamed) gums
- Loose teeth
- Gums which bleed when brushed
- Bad taste in the mouth
- Highly sensitive teeth to hot and cold liquids
- Receding gums
- These symptoms characteristically appear in cases of gingivitis and periodontitis
- Also there is a condition called ANUG ( Acute Necrotising Ulcerative Gingivitis) which has symptoms are far worse than those for gingivitis and periodontitis.These are extremely unpleasant and include a fever , painful gums,difficulty in swallowing , swollen glands in the neck and an overall feeling of being unwell.
TREATMENT FOR GUM DISEASE
Prevention is better than cure and certainly applies in this case.Following a good oral hygiene routine such as brushing your teeth at least twice a day using dental floss and having regular check ups can help.But if you have developed gum disease then any treatment is likely to be easier if it is caught at an early stage.This will be a scale and polish , antibiotics to ease any infection and which removes bacteria from within an infected tooth.Surgery is another option but is only carried out in severe cases.