Gum disease, what do we now about them? What causes gum disease? How are gum diseases prevented? These are only a few of the many questions that many of us want to know. Gum disease is just one of the many causes of tooth loss in adults. Gum disease or also known as “Periodontal disease” is then inflammation of the gums and are often unnoticed by individuals who have them for many years.
Gum disease or periodontal disease has two main stages. These are: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gingiva or gums without the loss of the bones while periodontitis is the inflammation of the gums that will result to the bones around the teeth. The loss of the bones around the teeth is the factor that differentiates these two stages of gum disease.
So what causes gum disease? Gum diseases are caused by the increase of the bacteria on the teeth and gums of an individual. Bacteria are present in plaque; plaques are clear and sticky substances that the mouth constantly produces. If plaque is not eliminated immediately, it will accumulate on the teeth and are the main causes gum disease. The bacteria that are found in plaque feed on sugars of the food and drinks that you intake and will produce toxins and other chemicals. These toxins will irritate the gums causing them to easily swell or bleed when brushed. Plaque can also harden into calculus or more known as tartar. Tartar or calculus is a mineral build up that will further irritate the gums and can also cause the loss of the teeth.
There are also lots and lots of factors that are the causes gum disease aside from bacteria. Poor oral hygiene is one of the many causes of gum disease. Smoking cigarette or the use of spit tobacco is also one of the main causes of gum disease. The hormonal changes of females (e.g. puberty, menopause, pregnancy) are also one of the causes of gum disease. Certain medications like birth control pills, antidepressants, or heart medications can also lead to gum disease. Crooked teeth may also lead to gum disease (because of the formation of plaque on some hard to clean area in between the teeth). Accumulation of dental calculus, misaligned teeth, defective or rough edges of fillings and dentures, crowns or bridges that do not fit properly are the main causes gum disease.
If you have swollen or shiny gums, mouth shores, gums that easily bleeds even with gentle brushing of the teeth, itchiness in the gums, have gums that are bright red or purple in color and receding gum line. Chances are you may already have gum disease. Visit or consult your dentist right away.