Close to 90% of Indian adults suffer from gum disease or periodontal disease. If left untreated, it can become worse. Fortunately, gum disease can be prevented and treated too. We’re here to give you the right information, help you prevent and treat gum disease.
What is Gum Disease?
Well, gum disease is also widely known as periodontal disease. It is caused when there’s a build-up of plaque (the sugars and bacteria that stick to your teeth). Gums tend to become infected and inflamed if plaque isn’t thoroughly cleaned during daily dental routines.
Did you know that gum disease if left untreated can cause gum recession, tooth loss, and can also be linked to heart disease as well as diabetes?
Some habits or factors can increase your risk of a periodontal disease:
● Smoking and substance abuse
● High levels of stress
● HIV and other chronic health problems
● Puberty or hormonal instability
● Diabetes and poor diet
The Stages of Gum Disease
Let’s look at the three stages of gum disease:
Gingivitis: Gingivitis is the initial stage of gum disease, caused by improper dental hygiene. It can either have zero symptoms or cause your gums to swell, turn red, or bleed when you’re flossing or brushing. It’s crucial to treat gingivitis before it becomes more severe.
Periodontitis: This is the next stage of gum disease after gingivitis. It occurs when plaque reaches below the gumline and produces toxins that trigger some amount of inflammation. The visible signs include the receding of gums and deepening of gaps around the teeth. The infection may also damage the bone and also loosen your teeth, if not treated properly.
Advanced Periodontitis: At this stage, the aforementioned symptoms worsen - teeth loosen further, bone loss continues and your gums swell as well. You may develop temperature sensitivity too.
What Are the Signs of Gum Disease?
Symptoms of gum disease include:
● Frequent bad breath
● Gums that are sensitive to touch
● Gum bleeding during brushing or flossing
● Swollen or inflamed gums
● Receding gums, which expose more of the tooth than before
● Pus coming from gums
● Visible changes to the fit of your dentures
● Loose teeth
Facing any of these? Don’t fret, the good part is that you’re here, gaining all the necessary information you need to improve your dental health. Read on to see what you can do about it.
How Is Gum Disease Treated?
The treatment depends on the severity of the problem. The good news is that early stages of a gum disease like gingivitis is treatable and reversible, all you need is a good dental hygiene routine.
If plaque has hardened into tartar, and is below your gumline, you would need professional cleaning. Ideally your oral care expert would advise scaling and root planing (SRP). You can think of it as a deep clean procedure for your teeth, which helps fight the gum disease.
However, If the gum disease has been left neglected for some time, you might need other treatments to remove the damaged tissue or help reverse bone loss. In extreme cases, surgical or restorative interventions are a must.
The first step however is to get a thorough annual periodontal assessment and diagnosis. 'The right person to help with this is a periodontist - a dentist who specializes in preventing, diagnosing, and also treating gum disease.
Gum Disease Prevention
While we’ve identified the symptoms and understand the treatments, here’s how you can prevent a gum disease right from the start. The first step is to get a specialist toothpaste for your gums that can help with the early signs of a gum disease. And follow a simple yet effective dental routine.
Gum disease can be prevented by:
● Using an effective specialist toothpaste for your gums. Brush your teeth for two minutes twice daily and clean between your teeth once daily
● Using a clinically proven toothpaste that contains curcuminoids, which have antibacterial properties
● A healthy balanced diet that builds a strong immune system
● Quitting smoking and using tobacco products
Make the right choice for your teeth and gums today.