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Gum Disease – Periodontal Disease

Healthy gums mean healthy teeth!

One of the very important aspects of dental hygiene is health of gums. When gums are affected by a disease called as periodontal or gum disease, it severely hampers oral hygiene and threatens a beautiful smile. In ever changing world of dental technology, research and treatment, it is essential to be active in education and learning regarding common dental diseases. It is important to be informed and know the best possible treatment available.

Did you know that 90% of the population of the globe has some form of gum disease in their mouths? This is significant as the gum disease can be a correlating factor with other diseases in the body – such as heart disease, low birth weight, premature births, and many more.

Gum disease is nothing to ignore. And, as this problem may lead to consequences such as bleeding gums to even tooth loss, regular dental visit is crucial. The dentist performs a thorough assessment of mouth at the initial comprehensive exam and hygiene appointment. The gums, all soft tissues as well as the teeth and surrounding bone are examined. If there are concerns, patient is informed so that these are addressed in time and health is not compromised. Everyone is different; therefore the care received in your dental clinic is customized to meet the personal needs.

Although anyone can get gum disease, it’s more likely in persons who don’t clean their teeth regularly or those who find it difficult to clean their teeth properly. Braces, dentures and irregularities in tooth shape are very common reasons for making it difficult to brush in a specific area with a toothbrush.

It is usually uncommon to experience signs of gum disease until the age of 30s or 40s. Men are more prone to gum disease than women are. Some teenagers can develop gingivitis, the milder form of gum disease.

The gum disease, however, does not usually start without warning signs, as common cold starts with running nose and change in the voice. In some patients, it starts with gums that bleed easily and are pulled away from teeth. In others it may show its presence by red, swollen, tender gums or persistent bad breath (or sometimes taste). In some individuals, permanent teeth may become loose or separate. In patients with dentures, there may be change in the fit of dentures. If these signs are found, pick up your phone and call your dentist at the earliest!

In some unfortunate people, it is possible to have gum disease without any warning signs. This is the very reason for regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations. Treatment methods may vary depending upon the type of disease and how far the condition has affected the mouth. Good dental care at home is essential to keep periodontal disease from becoming more serious or recurring.

A point to remember is you don’t have to lose your precious teeth to gum disease. Brushing the teeth twice a day, flossing between your teeth daily, a balanced diet, and a schedule of regular dental visits is a key to a lifetime of healthy smiles.

The development of this disease is simple. Our mouths are full of bacteria. These bacteria, along with food particles, constantly form a sticky, colorless substance called as “plaque” in dental language. This plaque accumulates on teeth. Brushing and flossing can initially help to get rid of this plaque. Plaque which is not removed can harden into “tartar” and this cannot be cleaned by brushing. Only a professional cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist can make you free of this tartar.

It is important to know some other factors that may lead to gum disease. Smoking (as always) is one of the most significant risk factors associated with the development of gum disease. It can also lower the chances for successful treatment. Hormonal changes in teenage girls or women can make gums more sensitive to this disease.

Treatment of this disease is simple which involves regular dental hygiene, professional cleaning by dentist and some medications.

So please visit your dentist early to fight this disease and save your smile!

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