Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an inflammatory disease of the tissues surrounding the teeth. It is caused by plaque and bacterial accumulation in the mouth. It is one of the factors responsible for tooth loss. Gum disease starts as a bacterial infection called gingivitis. If untreated, gingivitis worsens into periodontitis, causing damage to the gums and jawbones.
How gum disease can change your smile
Gum disease is not always apparent. It can start doing damage without showing any signs. For this reason, routine dental checkups are essential. Keep reading to learn about the effects of gum disease on the teeth and gums.
Swelling, redness and irritation
Gum diseases cause the gums to appear red and painful, usually due to the presence of infection. The infection spreads quickly, and immediate treatment is necessary to curb its progression. Postponing treatment may cause the introduction of bacteria into the bloodstream. Once this happens, it could cause issues for overall health.
Gingivitis causes the gums to bleed while eating, brushing or flossing. When plaque accumulates between the teeth, it generates toxins that cause bacterial infection. The infection increases the gum’s sensitivity and bleeding. Note that hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy or menopause can predispose the gums to gingivitis and bleeding.
Periodontal disease can also cause gums to retract from the teeth, causing them to appear longer. The condition is commonly called a toothy smile. Bacteria damages gum tissues and the underlying jawbone to cause this recession.
When the gum recedes from the tooth, it creates pockets that bacteria can enter. These will become filled with pus that may soon start oozing out. Pus is produced by the body to fight infections. The dentist will need to administer antibiotics before commencing any treatment.
Once gum disease reaches an advanced stage, the gum loosens around the teeth. This looseness causes them to become unstable. Once the disease reaches this stage, extensive dental work will be required to save any tooth that is not lost already.
Foul breath or halitosis can be caused by a handful of issues like food and bacteria. Smoking and tobacco use can also cause bad breath. In many cases, the food debris trapped between the teeth may find their way to the gumline. Deep gum pockets tend to trap debris quickly. The bacteria that eat this food produce gas that causes bad breath.
Treating gum disease
Any gum disease treatment aims to inhibit the progress of the disease before it causes further damage. The dentist will first examine the mouth to determine the extent of the disease. After diagnosis, the dental expert will create a treatment plan, which may combine antibiotics and surgery.
In less severe cases, the dentist will clean the gum surrounding the teeth. This technique is called scaling and root planing. The dentist may decide to apply antibiotics to the gum pockets to eliminate the bacteria and ensure healing.
Take care of your gums
Gum disease can ruin your smile, but it comes with some warning signs. If you start noticing the effects of gum diseases, you need prompt care. To avoid this problem and other conditions, schedule a checkup with our dental office.
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