What is Gum Infection?
What is Gum Disease?
Gingivitis is an infection or irritation of the gums. Gum diseases are also referred to as periodontal disease, a bacterial infection that targets the area around the teeth. Such diseases can have a major impact on both your oral and overall health.
Infection varies from gum irritation to the severe virus known as periodontitis. Therefore, taking care of gums is equivalent to taking care of your mouth. In this article, Dr. Robert Marin shares what you need to know about gum disease.
Different Stages of Gum Infections
Dr. Robert Marin of Greely Dental Care highlights the stages of gum infection:
- Gingivitis: It is the preliminary stage of the infection where gums turn red and start to swell. It can be easily treated through proficient dental cleanse and frequent oral care practice.
- Chronic Periodontitis: This stage is the start of gum disease. The symptoms appear when gums start thinning, and pockets form between the teeth and gums. This stage occurs in adults specifically above 35 years.
- Aggressive Periodontitis: This stage is rare however few adults, and children develop this aggressive condition. This state causes loss of teeth, over colonization of bacteria and pre-pubertal periodontitis in people of different age groups.
- Necrotizing Periodontitis: This type of gum disease might be the most critical out of all the others. It targets the tissues, ligaments, and bones in the mouth and severely damages them. It is a common disease among smokers or malnourished individuals.
Difference between Gingivitis and Periodontitis
We asked our friend, Dr. Ben Kacos, a dentist in Shreveport, LA, about the difference between gingivitis and periodontitis. Dr. Kacos says, “There is a fine line between these two conditions. Gingivitis causes inflammation in the gums which occurs due to excess of plague on the teeth. Symptoms of this condition include red, swollen gums, or bleeding of gums while brushing the teeth. However, it is common and only the preliminary stage of gum disease so it isn’t severe and can easily be treated.
Moreover, periodontitis is an advanced form of periodontal disease. Therefore, it causes the gum tissue to pull away from the teeth, consequently creating space for additional bacteria to build up and cause infection. Symptoms of possible periodontitis are red, swollen, or bleeding gums, pain while eating, poor alignment of teeth, pockets between teeth and gum, and loose/sensitive teeth.”
Do you have a Gum Infection?
Signs and symptoms:
An individual suffering from gum infection goes through specific symptoms. Therefore, the severity of the disease varies from swelling of the gums (gingivitis) to a more severe infection (periodontitis). The symptoms of gums diseases might not always be obvious until gingivitis progresses further to develop into periodontitis. Inflammation around a tooth is gingivitis, which is generally caused by plaque and tartar build-up on the teeth. This is usually the result of poor oral hygiene and is most likely to be experienced by people around the age of 30 years and older.
Some common gum disease symptoms include:
- Pain: Tenderness in the gums and/or in your teeth.
- Swollen gums: Healthy gums look pink and settled while swollen gums that look red or purple indicate gum disease.
- Bleeding: Bleeding occurring while brushing or flossing your teeth indicate symptoms of gum disease.
- Unpleasant taste and smell: Unpleasant breath and taste of mouth that remain persistent is also a possible sign of gum disease.
Main causes of Gum Infections
- Genetics: Take extra care of your oral hygiene if you have a family history of gum diseases. Visit your Greeley dentist regularly for checkup and professional teeth cleaning.
- Hormonal Changes: Women should pay extra attention to the symptoms as hormones associated with puberty, pregnancy, and menopause can contribute to women’s risk for gum disease.
- Stress: Stress makes it difficult for the body to fight infections, including periodontal disease.
- Smoking: Various studies have shown that consumption of tobacco products increases the chance of gum infection and diseases.
- Medications: Medications that lead to the drying of saliva as a side effect can contribute to periodontal disease as saliva helps to protect against gum infection by helping wash plaque and bacteria from the teeth.
How to Cure Gum Disease?
Depending on the severity of the gum disease, the cure might vary between surgical and non-surgical procedures. So, consult with your dentist in Greeley, CO for expert advice on how to cure gum disease.
Non-surgical procedure to treat gum disease includes consumption of antibiotics and a non-surgical procedure for cleaning each tooth. This procedure is also called tooth scaling and root planing that removes tartar and plaque from below the gum line. So, contact your dentist in Greeley, CO for gum disease treatment. There’s limited research on this that suggests that laser removal can be used in junction with tooth scaling and root planning to make the process more efficient.
Surgical treatments involve procedures that reduce the pockets formed at the gum line, regenerate lost bone and tissue, remove excess gum tissue, and graft soft tissue onto the gums to cover the exposed bone area and prevent tooth loss.
Prevention of Gum Infections
- Brush and floss every day: Regular brushing and flossing your teeth can help stop gingivitis. Choose a toothpaste that neutralizes the plaque, bacteria, and strengthens weakened enamel.
- Healthy lifestyle: Keep gum disease at bay by eating a balanced and healthy diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Stop tobacco consumption: Smoking is responsible for around 75% of periodontal diseases among adults. Quitting tobacco can aid in stopping gingivitis.