The state of the gingival tissues is important to your oral health. As the gums become diseased, the health of other oral structures, such as your teeth and jawbone, may suffer.
Here is a bit of information about gum disease and its treatments to help you better understand the condition.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is an inflammatory condition that affects the gingival tissues. It begins as acids inside the oral cavity start to inflame or irritate the gums. As gum disease becomes more severe, the gums may develop bacterial infections.
What Are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?
Gum disease may display differing symptoms, depending on the severity of the condition. In the early stages, gum disease is called gingivitis and may display the following symptoms:
- Gingival bleeding
- Painful gums
- Swelling of the gum tissues
- Reddening of the gums
As gum disease becomes more serious, it may be termed periodontitis, and new symptoms present. Here are a few signs of periodontitis:
- Pockets or spaces between the gums and the teeth
- Receding gums
- Pus leaking from the gums
- Bone loss
- Loose teeth
- Migration of the teeth
Is Gum Disease Reversible?
During the early stages, gum disease can usually be reversed with at-home care. The proper cleaning of the mouth can help prevent a buildup of oral acids within the oral cavity. Thus, the meticulous cleaning of the gums and teeth is important to gum disease reversal.
Once gum disease progresses to periodontitis, at-home care is usually not sufficient to reverse the condition. A dentist may need to treat the disease by prescribing anti-bacterial mouthwashes and performing restorative procedures, such as root planing, root scaling, and gum reconstruction.
Is Gum Disease Affected by Other Conditions?
Gum disease can be exacerbated by other conditions. Here are a few conditions and habits that can increase the severity of gum disease:
- Dry mouth. A reduction in saliva allows oral acids to become more concentrated and inflammatory.
- Smoking. Chemicals within tobacco irritate the gum tissues and interfere with the healing of the damaged tissues.
- Diabetes. Uncontrolled blood sugar can increase the likelihood of gum disease.
How Is the Severity of Gum Disease Characterized?
The severity of gum disease is based on the depth and number of gingival pockets. As the disease worsens, pockets become deeper and more frequent.
If you suspect that you have gum disease, schedule an appointment with a company like New England Dental Specialists of Norwood.