Many people overlook or not take the signs of gum disease seriously such as gum bleeding. If the inflammation of the gum (gingivitis) is left untreated, it can spread to the tooth-supporting tissues, causing periodontitis (advanced stage of gum disease). The inflammation must be treated as soon as possible. Otherwise, the teeth may become loose over time or even fall out.
The early stage of gum disease (gingivitis) is easy to treat. People who visit the dentist twice a year for a dental checkup usually protect themselves from undetected gingivitis. In addition, oral hygiene determines the speed of recovery. It is the most important factor in the daily prevention of gum disease and other diseases of the oral cavity.
Signs of Gum Disease
Healthy gums are pale pink. It fills the space between teeth and it doesn’t bleed. Inflamed gums are usually red and swollen. Also, it bleeds easily when you brush your teeth or bite an apple. The inflamed gums can begin to bleed even when touched. Rarely, gum bleeding may have other causes such as the wrong brushing technique which damages the gum. Gum disease is not painful in the early stage. However, there are other symptoms and signs of gum disease, include:
- Redness and swelling.
- Bleeding gums.
- Bad breath.
- Gum recession.
In the advanced stage of gum disease, a pain may occur, often accompanied by a strong bad breath. In severe cases, the following signs of gum disease may occur:
- Formation of pus between the teeth.
- The inflammation leads to the swelling of the surrounding lymph nodes.
- Changes in the bite.
- The mobility of permanent teeth and tooth loss.
Smokers and Signs of Gum Disease
In the case of smokers, the gum bleeding may be invisible. This is because the ingredients in the cigarette smoke make the oral mucosa insufficiently supplied with blood. As a result, the gums don’t bleed as quickly as non-smokers, although they are inflamed. So, the gum disease may be ignored.
Causes of Gum Disease
If you don’t clean your teeth on a regular basis, gum disease can quickly develop. In the case of poor oral hygiene, bacteria can multiply quickly in the oral cavity. Bacteria, together with the food debris can form a soft biofilm on teeth, known as dental plaque. Bacteria in the plaque metabolize food debris and produce acids and toxins. These acids and toxins attack the gums, causing an inflammatory reaction (gum disease). Also, there are several factors increase the risk of gum disease, include:
- Breathing through the mouth.
- Low salivary flow.
- Unhealthy diet.
- Hormonal changes such as pregnancy and puberty.
- A weakened immune system such as HIV/AIDS
- Chronic disease such as diabetes mellitus.
Prevention of Gum Disease
You can prevent gum disease with regular oral hygiene. Therefore, you should brush your teeth at least twice a day, using a soft-bristled toothbrush. And follow the right toothbrushing technique. Also, clean the interdental spaces with a dental floss and clean the tongue.
Visit your dentist immediately if you noticed any signs of gum disease. The regular checkup is an important part of the prevention of all diseases of the oral cavity. Two follow up appointments per year are recommended. During the dental visits, the dentist will examine your teeth and gums. Also, he/she will perform a professional cleaning and treat any problems arise.