Gum disease is caused by an overgrowth of bacteria in the mouth. This bacteria, along with food particles, creates a shiny film called plaque that sticks to the teeth and gums. If plaque is not removed by regular brushing and flossing, it can harden into tartar, which can only be removed by dental professionals. Tartar buildup can irritate the gums, causing inflammation and infection. Risk factors for gum disease include poor oral hygiene, smoking, age, genetics, stress, a poor diet and certain medications.
Causes of Gum Disease
Although the main cause of such diseases is bacterial plaque, other factors such as smoking, systemic diseases, drugs, stress and nutrition can also affect gingival health. We will explain some of the factors for you.
Smoking increases the risk of tooth and gum diseases as well as the known general harms. In addition, the symptoms of gingivitis are masked due to the chemicals in cigarettes and the heat effect. For this reason, the patient is often unaware of periodontal disease, since the inflamed gingiva does not bleed.
Puberty, Pregnancy and Menopause
Due to the changes in hormones during these special periods, as in many tissues in the body, the gum tissue is also affected. In this way, the response of tissues to microorganisms increases and it is very important to pay extra attention to oral health and care during these periods.
Some systemic diseases such as diabetes and diseases that affect the immune system also affect the severity of the disease. Diseases that affect the body's defense system such as leukemia and AIDS can worsen the condition of the gums. When people are very susceptible to infection, gum disease is usually much more severe and more difficult to control.
Some drugs cause special changes in the gums and affect other tissues in the mouth, and this has a negative effect on oral health. Some of these are birth control pills, antidepressants, some blood pressure-heart medications, and immunosuppressant drugs.
It is known that stress is also a risk factor for periodontal disease and complicates the fight against infections.
Not Enough Feeding
Inadequate nutrition and malnutrition negatively affect the body's immune system, making it difficult to fight infections.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
Early stages of gum disease may cause no symptoms. However, as the disease progresses, symptoms may include:
- Bleeding of the gums, whether spontaneously or while brushing teeth,
- Swollen, tender and red gums
- offensive odor in the mouth,
- Recession of the gums, easy separation from the teeth,
- Inflammatory discharge between the teeth and gums,
- Teeth begin to wobble or gradually move away from each other,
- The change in the relationship between the lower and upper teeth during the bite can be counted.
If left untreated, gum disease can lead to more serious problems, such as tooth loss, bone loss, and even infections that can affect other parts of the body.
Gum Disease Treatment
Treatment for gum disease depends on the severity of the disease. For mild cases of gingivitis, treatment may include professional cleanings and improved oral hygiene, such as brushing and flossing regularly.
For more advanced gum disease, different treatment methods are chosen:
Scaling and Root Planing: If the dentist determines that plaque and calculus have accumulated under the gums, they will perform the scaling and root planing. This procedure is done under local anesthesia. In the process, plaque and tartar that are contained by the gum line are scraped off. Then, the rough spots on the root tooth are smoothed, making it difficult for the accessories to connect and reproduce.
Surgery: In severe cases, surgery may be performed to remove damaged tissue or restore bone and tissue. ,
Prevention is the best way to avoid gum disease. Here are some tips to keep your gums healthy:
Regular Intraoral Care
Intraoral care steps such as brushing the teeth, using rinsing water, and regularly flossing for detailed cleaning may seem to be done only for the teeth, but actually affect the entire mouth directly.
Choosing the Right Product
While it is very important how often and for how long one takes to care for the mouth and gums, the quality of the products and materials with which the care is carried out is also important. For example, a hard-tipped toothbrush may become susceptible to bleeding gums and bacterial growth. Using a soft-tipped toothbrush and changing our toothbrush at most every 3 months allows us to take precautions against bacteria that can settle on the brush over time.
It is important that we regularly check our own oral health so that we can check the health of our gums and notice it in an unusual situation. It is very important to see a dentist once a month and have our routine check-ups in order to diagnose future oral problems early.
Is Gum Disease Hereditary?
Some gum diseases are inherited. Some people are more prone to gum disease. However, in most individuals, gum disease can be prevented with good oral care and regular dental check-ups.