Gum disease is an inflammation caused by bacterial growth. It affects gingiva, periodontal ligaments, and alveolar bone around the teeth.
The initial stage of this disease is the swelling in the gum tissue and is called gingivitis. It is limited just to the gum tissue.
If the inflammation is left untreated, it can cause the bone around the tooth to shrink and the tooth becomes loose that might lead to tooth loss.
Researchers have been working on the root cause of this disease for years. Today, many pieces of research confirmed that the root cause of it is the bacteria that reside on the dental plaque.
Researches have also been designed to understand the impact of periodontal disease on general health.
Recently, gum disease has been associated with many other diseases. Researchers are studying the correlation between gum disease and the following disorders.
Periodontal disease is linked to many heart diseases. It may increase the risks of atherosclerosis and cardiac disorders. It can aggravate existing heart diseases.
Gum disease can increase the risks of stroke that is caused by the clogging of the arteries.
Gum disease can also make it hard for diabetic patients to control their blood sugar levels. While those that have healthy gums can control their sugar level much easier.
The bacteria that cause gum disease can cause lung infections. These bacteria can also aggravate respiratory disorders. These bacteria can also cause a worsening of pneumonia.
Gum disease during pregnancy can cause an early birth of the infant. The baby born may be under-weight and can have other complications due to premature birth.
Gum disease occurs due to the bacteria that reside on the plaque. Plaque is the sticky, yellowish, or colourless film that starts forming on the teeth after some time of brushing. In response to these bacteria, our immune system release a substance to eliminate these bacteria.
These substances damage the gum tissues, periodontal ligaments, and alveolar bone and cause inflammation. As a consequence, our gum begins to swell and bleed, a symptom of the initial stage of the gum disease, gingivitis. If gingivitis aggravates, it can cause the loosening of teeth. This is an advanced stage of gum disease known as periodontitis.
If you don’t follow oral hygienic measures then you are more likely to get the plaque. If you have missed the visits to your dentist, the bacteria will transmit to the bottom of the gum line.
Here the bacteria continue to grow and cause inflammation.
The inflammation causes the gum to get detached from the tooth. Space, called “pocket” is formed between the tooth and the gum. The bacteria begin to live in it and cause the hardening of plaque. If this stage remains untreated, it will damage the periodontal ligament and alveolar bone.
Over time, plaque becomes calcified and forms calculus, commonly called tartar. Due to its rough surface, more plaque begins to stick over it and forms layers. Usage of tartar-control toothpaste can prevent the calculus formation, but it can’t remove the already occurring tartar.
Though bacteria are the main cause of gum disease, many other risk factors contribute to gum disease. The following risk factors can make your gum more susceptible to gum disease.
Your genes can make you more susceptible to gum disease than other people. But you can prevent it by adopting oral hygienic measures.
The use of tobacco causes more accumulation of tartar on the teeth. Smokers develop more severe gum disease. This can be prevented by controlling the smoking habit.
Overcrowding or misaligned teeth, brace, and bridges make it difficult to brush and floss. This can also lead to plaque and tartar formation.
Grinding won’t cause gum disease, but the excessive press due to grinding can make the gums’ inflammation harsher.
Hormonal imbalance due to the onset of puberty, pregnancy, or menopause can cause gum disease.
Certain diseases like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and HIV can also increase the risk of gum disease.
Certain medicine like those for high blood pressure and depression can also periodontal disease.
Nutrition affects your overall health. Poor nutrition weakens your immune system and makes you more susceptible to gum inflammation and gum disease.
The following steps will help you in treating gum diseases:
Practising oral hygiene measures to prevent plaque.
Consult your dentist for the removal of tartar.
Adopt measures to prevent the return of the periodontal disease.
Consult a specialist if the gum disease is not healing or getting severe.
If you are feeling one of the symptoms listed above click the BOOK ONLINE button in the top right corner of our website to schedule your appointment with our dentist in Southport.