What Is Gum Disease?

What Is Gum Disease?

Posted by Stonegate Family Dentistry on Nov 4 2020, 02:44 AM

What Is Gum Disease?

Improper oral hygiene can affect both the teeth and the gums. Plaque forms from the sugar and starch in foods and, if not removed effectively, it can harden to become tartar in just 72 hours. 

When left untreated, tartar can lead to gum disease and even tooth and bone loss. 

In this article, our team of oral experts at Stonegate Family Dentistry in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, explains how gum disease progresses and what are its signs and symptoms.

Progression of Gum Disease

Gum disease is a common dental condition that causes gum inflammation and infections. 

During the initial stages of the disease, the gums pull away from the teeth, creating pockets for bacteria to accumulate. The toxins released as the body’s response to the infection start attacking the bone and tissues anchoring the teeth. The most common symptom at this stage is gum bleeding. 

If ignored, the pockets grow bigger, giving more room for the bacteria to grow. There will be pain and loosening of the teeth, along with other inflammatory responses throughout the body. 

Finally, gum disease comes to the stage where the tissues holding the teeth are severely affected, causing acute pain, bad breath, foul taste in the mouth, and tooth loss.

Factors Leading to Gum Disease or Periodontitis

Below are some of the factors that can trigger periodontitis:

  • Faulty oral hygiene resulting in plaque buildup
  • Diseases such as cancer or HIV that compromise the body’s defense mechanisms 
  • Diabetes can also put people at risk as the body does not properly process sugars
  • Some medications cause dry mouth, increasing the accumulation of bacteria in the mouth and even to abnormal growth of gum tissue
  • Smoking interferes with any kind of healing in the mouth
  • Genetic predisposition for gum disease
  • Vitamin deficiency due to poor nutrition

What Are the Common Symptoms of Gum Disease?

The symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Tender, swollen, or receding gums
  • Plaque or tartar buildup
  • Bleeding while brushing or flossing
  • Loose teeth and pain while chewing
  • Severe bad breath and a foul taste in the mouth
  • Inflammatory response in the body

Gum Disease Treatment and Prevention

If plaque removal does not help, antibiotics in the form of oral medication, gel, or mouthwash are prescribed. For very severe infections, flap surgery is performed where the gum is lifted away, the roots of teeth are cleaned, and the gum is reattached.

Preventive measures include improving oral hygiene by regularly brushing and flossing, using mouthwash, and getting routine dental checkups.

For more details on gum disease, contact Stonegate Family Dentistry at (615) 624-6919 or visit us at 206 A N Thompson Lane, Murfreesboro, TN 37129.

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