Gum Disease How Does it Occur, How is it Treated?
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a common dental problem that affects millions of people worldwide. It is an infection that damages the soft tissue and bone that support your teeth. Gum disease can lead to tooth loss if the infection left untreated. This article will discuss the causes, treatment, and prevention of gum disease.
Gum disease is a serious health concern that affects millions of people worldwide. It is a bacterial infection that can cause damage to the gums and bone that support the teeth. Gum disease can lead to tooth loss, which can have a significant impact on your overall health and quality of life if it left untreated.
Causes of Gum Disease
Gum disease is caused by bacteria that grow in the plaque and tartar that form on teeth. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that occurs on teeth and gums daily. If it is not removed by brushing and flossing, it hardens into tartar, which cannot be removed by brushing alone. The bacteria in plaque and tartar can cause inflammation and infection in the gums. Other factors that can increase the risk of gum disease can be listed as smoking, hormonal changes, certain medications, and genetics.
Plaque and Tartar
Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on teeth and gums daily. It can be removed by brushing and flossing. If it is not removed, it can harden and turn into tartar, and it won’t be removed by brushing alone. Tartar can only be removed by a dental professional using specialized tools. For this kind of dental problem, visiting Alfa Dental Center will be beneficial for your oral health.
Smoking is a significant risk factor for gum disease. It can weaken the immune system and make it harder for the body to fight with infections, including those in the gums. Smoking can also reduce blood flow to the gums, which can reduce their ability to heal.
Hormonal changes can also increase the risk of gum disease. Changes in hormone levels during pregnancy, puberty, and menopause can make the gums more sensitive and more susceptible to infection.
Certain medications, such as anticonvulsants and blood pressure medications, can increase the risk of gum disease. These medications can cause dry mouth, which can lead to an increase in plaque and bacteria in the mouth.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
The symptoms of gum disease can vary depending on the severity of the condition. In the early stages, gum disease may not cause any noticeable symptoms. However, as the condition progresses, the following symptoms may develop:
- Red, swollen, or tender gums
- Bleeding gums, especially when brushing or flossing
- Receding gums
- Loose or shifting teeth
- Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
Treatment of Gum Disease
The treatment of gum disease depends on the severity of the condition. Mild cases of gum disease can be treated with a professional dental cleaning by removing the plaque and tartar buildup. More severe cases of gum disease may require scaling and root planning, a deep cleaning procedure that removes the bacteria from the roots of the teeth. In some cases, surgery may be required to repair damage to the gums and bone. Antibiotics may also be prescribed to help controlling the infection.
Professional Dental Cleaning
A professional dental cleaning, also known as a prophylaxis, is a procedure that removes plaque and tartar buildup from the teeth and gums. During a cleaning, a dental hygienist will use specialized tools to remove the buildup from the teeth and gums. They may also polish the teeth to remove surface stains and smooth out rough spots. You can contact with Alfa Dental Center anytime for professional dental cleaning.
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planning is a deep cleaning procedure that is used to treat more severe cases of gum disease. During the procedure, a dental professional will use specialized tools to remove the bacteria from the roots of the teeth. They will also smooth out rough spots on the roots to help prevent bacteria from sticking to them in the future.
In some cases, surgery may be required to repair the damage to the gums and bone caused by gum disease. There are several types of surgery that can be used to treat gum disease:
- Flap surgery: During flap surgery, the gums are lifted back to allow a dental professional to remove tartar and bacteria from the roots of the teeth. Then the gums are sutured back into place.
- Bone grafts: Bone grafts are used to replace bone that has been lost due to gum disease. During the procedure, a dental professional will take a small piece of bone from another part of the body or use synthetic bone to fill in the area where bone has been lost.
- Soft tissue grafts: Soft tissue grafts are used to replace gum tissue that has been lost due to gum disease. During the procedure, a dental professional will take a small piece of tissue from another part of the mouth or use synthetic tissue to replace the lost gum tissue.
Antibiotics may be prescribed to help control the infection caused by gum disease. They can be taken in pill form or applied directly to the gums in the form of a gel or mouthwash.
Prevention of Gum Disease
Preventing gum disease starts with good oral hygiene. Brushing twice a day and flossing daily can help remove plaque and prevent tartar buildup. Regular dental checkups and cleanings are also important to remove gum disease in its early stages. Quitting smoking and managing medical conditions that can increase the risk of gum disease, such as diabetes, can also help prevent gum disease.
Gum disease is a serious health concern that can have a significant impact on your overall health and quality of life. It is caused by bacteria in plaque and tartar and can lead to tooth loss if it left untreated. Preventing gum disease starts with good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups and cleanings. If you are experiencing symptoms of gum disease, such as bleeding gums or persistent bad breath, consult Alfa Dental Center to get the treatment you need.