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Gum Disease

What is Periodontitis-Gum Disease?

  • Apr 16, 2020


What is Gum Disease and How to Prevent it?

Tooth decay and periodontitis (gum disease) are the two most common dental disorders that dentists come across each day. The basic reason behind the development of gum problems, is poor oral hygiene maintenance.

So, what are the causes of gum diseases and how you can prevent them? Continue reading to find out!

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is usually characterized by three different stages of severity:

  • Gingivitis – This earliest stage is marked by swollen, red, and tender gums. They may bleed on touch and may cause bad odor in the mouth. No damage has yet been caused to the tissue, and the disease can often be controlled by strict oral hygiene.
  • Periodontitis– If gum disease is ignored continuously, gums start parting away from the teeth thus forming pockets in which plaque can harden into tartar and bacteria can thrive. These bacteria attack the gum and the bone tissue. The teeth start loosening.
  • Advanced periodontitis– Body immune system reacts and attacks the bacteria, destroying the gum and bone tissue also as a collateral. This results in severe loss of gum and bone tissue, and loss of teeth.

What causes gum disease?

Gum disease is caused by the presence of two things simultaneously and for a long interval: Plaque and bacteria. Bacteria tend to flourish inside the dental plaque and calculus. It is some of these bacteria living inside the plaque which cause gum diseases by releasing toxic substances that damage the gum and periodontal tissues. First, the fibers attaching the gums to the bone are destroyed. Afterwards, the jaw bones start the degrade and teeth become mobile in their sockets, and ultimately fall off.

 Preventing Gum Disease

Since the disease causing bacterial flourish in the plaque, keeping your teeth free of plaque is the key to preventing gum disease. Two activities must be performed regularly:

  • Good oral hygiene measures, such as brushing and flossing, to prevent your teeth and gums from damage.
  • (Six- monthly) dental inspections, and cleaning where necessary. These visits will ensure that dental problems are diagnosed at early stages and treated accordingly.

How does this relate to my Overall health?

Unfortunately, for most of us, when we think of oral health and our body, we think of them as separate parts.  Our mouth is connected to our body, and a big contributing factor to our health. The food we eat and how well we take care of it are of upmost importance.

You see, since we have a connected circulatory system any bacteria that is present in our mouth will circulate throughout the rest of our body.  Likewise, if we have any inflammation in our mouth, your whole body goes into an inflammatory response.  This means, that if we have any underlying health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, respiratory disease, or any other conditions, two things can happen.  One, your condition can get worse, or two, the condition in your mouth will deteriorate.  For example; if you have diabetes.  Diabetes makes our healing process slower, thus affecting the rate at which your periodontal problems heal or the response altogether.

The take away

It is very important that we start seeing our oral health as one of the keys to our overall health.  Our nutrition and home care, such as brushing and flossing are essential to our body’s ability to fight off bacteria and heal.

Our Oral health DOES affect the rest of our body.  It must be engrained in our minds over and over again.

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