Gum disease or periodontal disease is a very common thing. Many different adults have some form of this disease. Some have gum disease worse than others. The diagnosis can range from gum inflammation to serious disease, resulting in tissue and bone loss. In the worst-case scenario, one could end up losing teeth because of their state of gum disease. You can stop or slow down gum disease, but it will depend on how well you take care of your teeth.
Causes of Gum Disease
Your mouth naturally has levels of bacteria within it. This bacteria eats any sugar that you consume and turns it into acid and plaque that stick to your teeth. When you brush and floss, you remove this plaque buildup, but the plaque that you do not remove will harden into tartar. Tartar will only be able to be removed by a dentist.
Many patients who have gum disease have it because of poor dental hygiene habits. There are also certain risk factors that will increase your risk of developing gum disease. These include:
– Smoking. If you want a good reason to quit smoking, then preventing gum disease can be one of them. Smoking not only causes you to have bad breath, but it can also be a big risk factor when it comes to developing gum disease.
– Hormones. Hormonal changes occur naturally in women, which can make gums more sensitive. This can make conditions easier for gingivitis to develop.
– Diabetes. If you have diabetes, then you are at a greater risk for infection, which includes gum disease.
– Medication. Gum disease can come about as a side effect of taking certain medications, especially if they cause dry mouth. Your saliva naturally protects your mouth and without enough of it you are more vulnerable to gum disease.
– Genetics. Like most things, sometimes it comes down to your genetics and this includes your teeth. Some are more prone to gum diseases than others.
Symptoms of gum disease do vary, but everyone with gum disease has bad breath. Another very common symptom is redness, swollen or bleeding gums. You might also experience sensitivity while chewing, tooth sensitivity or receding gums.
Your dentist can work with you to help control your gum disease. The type of treatment will depend on the severity of the disease you have. If you continue to maintain good oral hygiene at home after your dentist scales and cleans your teeth professionally, then you can keep the plaque and tartar at bay. Your dentist might also prescribe you medications, like antimicrobial mouthwash, antibiotic gel, or antibiotics to help keep the infection under control.
In the worst-case scenario, you could require a bone or tissue graft to help fix the damage and regenerate any bone or gum tissue lost due to periodontal disease.