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Gum Disease

How to Know If You Have Gum Disease and What to Do About It?

Have you recently noticed a speck of blood in your sink while brushing your teeth? Gum disease can cause bleeding, which is one of the early indicators of the condition.

Gingivitis is a mild form of the disease. Only your gums are infected when you have this. If left untreated, the infection can spread past the gum line and into the bone. Then it progresses to periodontitis, a more dangerous form of gum disease.

Periodontitis and gingivitis have both been linked to an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, pneumonia, and cancer. Your best bet is to catch it early.


Symptoms


If you know what to look for, you can detect and address the problem before it becomes serious. If you notice any of the following gum disease symptoms, make a note of it:

 

  • Red, swollen gums: One of the first indicators that your gums require attention is red, swollen gums. Inflammation along the gum line is the most common sign of gum disease. They may also be uncomfortable or painful, and flossing or brushing them causes them to bleed readily.

 

  • Bad breath: Your mouth is a warm and moist environment for millions of bacteria. The plaque is what they eat, thus the more of it you have, the bigger the assortment for them to thrive on. Bacteria produce toxins that hurt the gums and teeth while also giving off a foul odour. It’s also a sign of more serious gum disease. If you have gingivitis, your breath normally doesn’t change much.

 

  • Gums that shrink: If your teeth appear longer than they used to, it’s likely that your gums are shrinking rather than growing. When bone begins to deteriorate, the gums separate from the tooth, forming a pocket. This peeling away is known as receding gums.

 

  • Sensitive teeth: If a sip of cold water makes you squirm, your teeth are probably trying to tell you something. This is a symptom of gum disease that frequently occurs in conjunction with shrinking gums. When the gums recede, the sensitive component of the tooth, called the dentin, is exposed, leading teeth to become sensitive to cold water and air.

 

  • Wiggly or shifting teeth: Do you have wiggly or shifting teeth? Has your smile changed recently? Gum disease can weaken or shift your teeth by attacking the bones that keep them in place. The most common cause is periodontitis, which can alter the way your teeth fit together when you bite.

 

Treatment


The aim of gum disease treatment is to keep your infection under control. Your dentist will assess the situation to determine where to begin.


Deep cleaning


The first line of defence against gum disease is a thorough cleaning.

Unlike a standard cleaning, which is usually performed only above the gum line, a deep cleaning is performed below the gum line. The dentist will also utilise specialised devices.

Scaling is a procedure that your dentist can perform. This is done by scraping tartar from both above and below the gum line. They may also perform a procedure known as root planing. The rough surfaces of your teeth’s roots are smoothed away at this time. It aids in the reattachment of the gums to the tooth.

Both treatments may require multiple dental visits.

 

Medication


There is no miraculous drug or lotion that can heal gum disease. Nonetheless, as part of your treatment, your dentist may prescribe medication.

The possibilities are:

  • Antiseptic chips or antibiotic microspheres: These tiny gels or particles are inserted into pockets in your gums, where they steadily release medication to help reduce the size of the pocket and eliminate bacteria.

 

  • Antibiotic gel: After a good cleaning, you may apply this to gum pockets to help control infection.

 

  • Enzyme suppressant: After a deep cleaning, you may take this tablet to prevent certain enzymes in your mouth from breaking down gum tissue.

 

  • Oral antibiotics: These capsules or tablets can be swallowed for more serious infections.

Surgery


If deep cleaning isn’t enough to solve the condition, you may need to go deeper. Your dentist might suggest:

  • Gum graft surgery: It involves a surgeon using tissue from another part of your mouth (such as your palate) to cover any exposed tooth roots, preventing bone loss or decay and alleviating sensitive teeth.

 

  • Flap surgery: It involves lifting your gums up to allow the surgeon to access the tartar deep behind your gum line. The gum is then stitched back in place so that it is tight around the tooth, preventing more tartar from accumulating.

To help reduce bacteria, your dentist may also recommend an antimicrobial mouthwash that you swish in your mouth as part of your daily brushing routine. It’s accessible over-the-counter as well as by prescription.