A Complete Guide To Gum Disease: Causes, Stages, Treatment, And Recovery
If you are meticulous about your oral health, chances are you have heard about gum disease— inflammation of the gums and tooth sockets. Various issues can cause it, such as plaque buildup and poor oral hygiene. It can also happen if you have diabetes or any other condition that weakens your immunity.
It can worsen and spread to other parts of your mouth if not treated properly. Gum disease is also linked to heart disease, stroke, and other chronic health conditions. That is why you need to get periodontal disease treatment to prevent further complications.
What is Gum Disease, And What Are The Signs?
Gum disease is an infection of the gums that can cause serious oral health problems. It can be caused by plaque, which builds up on teeth and affects the tissues around them.
The most common sign of gum disease is bleeding after brushing. Other signs include dry mouth, bad breath, swollen or tender gums, or pain when biting something hard.
Gum disease affects the quality of life for many Americans with various symptoms, including oral pain, bleeding gums, sore throat, and bad breath.
There are many risk factors for gum disease. Some of the most important include:
- Family history
- Poor oral hygiene
- Diet— it is important to make sure you maintain a healthy diet. Some factors that can lead to gum disease are high blood sugar levels, smoking, alcohol consumption, coffee drinking, and anything else with caffeine.
If you think you have gum disease, talk with your dentist about what is causing it.
What Are The Stages of Gum Disease?
In its early stages, the mouth might not be as irritated as it is in later stages. Risk factors for early-stage gum disease include poor oral hygiene, genetic predisposition, smoking, and alcohol consumption.
There are usually no symptoms except an increase in bleeding from the gums after brushing or flossing. The second stage starts when inflammation (gingivitis) is present. It is characterized by redness, swelling, and bleeding on the surface of the gums.
The third stage (periodontitis) starts when ulcers or cavities form on your gums. It also causes bone and teeth loss.
What Treatment Options Are Available For Gum Disease?
The treatment options for gum diseases vary depending on the stage, so there can be several possible treatments for your specific situation.
Some common treatments for gum disease include:
- Using an antiseptic mouthwash – reduces plaque and bacteria on the teeth to help prevent future infection.
- Taking medication to fight against bacteria that cause gum disease
- Scaling and root planing: Scaling is a process that removes the diseased portion of the tooth, while root planing includes shaping the roots.
In advanced cases, the dentist may recommend grafting procedures as part of your gum infection treatment.
- Soft tissue grafting
Soft tissue grafting is a surgical procedure in which a thin layer of healthy tissue replaces diseased tissue. The dentist uses a small amount of tissue matter from the top part of the mouth and attaches it to the affected area.
- Bone grafting
Bone grafting is a treatment for gum disease, which involves removing a piece of bone from the jaw and attaching it to the gum. This procedure is done when you have bone loss, affecting the stability of the teeth.
How To Prevent Gum Disease?
Gum disease is a common infection that must be prevented before it causes serious problems. It is important to stop using tobacco, drink plenty of water, eat healthy food, and brush at least twice a day. Additionally, visit your dentist at least once a year for professional cleaning and check-ups.
Practice good oral hygiene habits such as brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste before breakfast and after dinner for optimal plaque removal. You can also use an electric toothbrush twice daily.
Schedule An Appointment
Visit Holger Dental Group for more information on gum disease and our periodontal services.