A Look at Gum Disease: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options

Causes and Signs That One May Have Periodontitis

This type of ailment is prevalent in all age groups and generally stems from poor oral hygiene. Those who do not brush their teeth regularly after meals or those who rarely use floss are at a particular risk for developing gingivitis. This is an early stage of periodontal illness (otherwise known as gum disease). Additionally, those who smoke or consume large amounts of alcohol are at a greater risk.

 
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The main signals will first be noticed as a swelling and redness of the surrounding tissue. The gums themselves may hurt to the touch and individual teeth may become sensitive to hot or cold substances. As the illness progresses, further symptoms will include bleeding of the gums during normal brushing. This blood loss could actually appear quite significant and may progress to when one is eating foods such as apples or other substances that are difficult to bite into. If left untreated, the gums will begin to recede. One of the risk factors is that food may become easily trapped under loose gums; possibly leading to infection of the root and even the jawline.

Signs of Peridontitis:
  • An over-sensitivity and reddening of the gums.
  • Bleeding during brushing or when eating.
  • A recession of the gums themselves; exposing tooth enamel.
  • An increased chance of tooth decay and even an infection of the jaw line.

Treatment

As this illness can often times cause a host of other oral health issues, it is important to have a brief overview of some of the gum disease treatment options that are currently available.

The first and most important step is to promptly visit a dental hygienist. He or she will determine the extent of the illness and prescribe an appropriate treatment. One of the most common methods to reverse the progression is by scraping away the loose or damaged tissue and any underlying plaque. When the plaque is removed from the surface of the tooth, the gum will be able to reattach itself over time.

Another option is to utilize a laser to cut away the section of the gum line that may have become infected. This technique will be used for more advanced cases. Newer tissue will be allowed to regrow and after a thorough cleaning from an oral health professional, the prognosis is generally positive.

While these methods are effective in most cases, the most powerful preventative measure is proper oral hygiene. Gum disease treatment begins in the home. One needs to thoroughly brush with an effective toothpaste after every meal, floss daily and use a powerful mouthwash in order to help remove bacteria and plaque in hard-to-reach areas that a toothbrush may miss.

Main treatment measures:
  • A thorough cleaning of the mouth by a trained professional on a frequent basis.
  • The possible use of a laser to remove infected gum tissue.
  • The physical removal of plaque at and below the gum line.
  • Proper hygiene habits practised at home regularly.