The inflammation of the gums that affects the bone that supports and surrounds teeth is known as gum disease. It is generally caused by bacteria in plaque that is a colorless and sticky film which constantly forms on teeth. If the plaque is not removed with regular flossing and brushing, plaque can build up bacteria and adversely affect the teeth and gums. It may also affect the bone and gum tissue that supports the teeth. It may loosen them or even fall out. They may have to be removed by a dentist.
Stages of Gum Disease
There are three stages of gum disease:
1. Gingivitis: In this stage, there is inflammation of the gums because of the build up of plaque at the gum line. Plaque, if not removed with regular flossing and brushing, can release toxins which irritate the tissues of gum and resulting in gingivitis. The common symptom of gingivitis is bleeding gums during flossing and brushing. This is an early stage of gum disease and it is possible to reverse the damage at this stage. The connective tissue and bone supporting teeth are intact at this stage.
2. Periodontitis: At this stage, the fibers and supporting bones holding teeth are irreversibly damaged. The gums may start forming a pocket just below the gumline that traps the food as well as plaque. The damage at this stage is irreversible, but still the further damage can be prevented through proper dental treatment and home care.
3. Advanced Periodontitis: At this stage, the fibers and bone supporting and surrounding teeth are completely damaged. It can result in loosening or shifting of teeth. It adversely affects your bite and even aggressive treatment may not help you at this stage. The damage done can not be reversed or prevented. There is only one way and that is to remove the teeth.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
Gum disease may happen at any age. However adults are more likely to get affected with gum problems. It is possible to reverse the effects of this disease, if it is detected at an early stage. Following are some symptoms of gum disease:
· Bleeding gums while brushing or flossing
· Change in the way teeth fits together while biting
· Redness, swelling, puffy or tenderness of the gums
· Constant bad breath or bad taste in mouth
· Teeth appear longer as gums have receded
· Pus coming from gum and between teeth
· Separated or pulled away gums from the teeth, creating pockets
Treatment of Gum Disease
It is possible to reverse the effects at early stages with the help of proper flossing and brushing. It can prevent formation of plaque.
If the plaque has hardened and turned into tartar then a professional cleaning by hygienist or dentist is required. A professional dentist will scale and clean your teeth and remove tartar below and above the gumline. Root planing procedure may help in severe gum problem.
You should visit your dentist regularly so that any gum problem may get detected at an early stage. Hence, it will be possible to treat the gum disease before its turning into a serious condition.