Periodontal disease or Gum disease refers to an infection of the tissues that support the teeth. Gums or Gingiva act as a support for our teeth. In the case of Periodontal disease, the connecting tissues and bones that support the teeth completely break down. If only the gums are severely affected, then the disease is called Gingivitis.
- One of the prominent causes of Gum disease is the plaque which settles on the surface of teeth and gums. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria which produces toxins that are extremely harmful to the gums and supporting tissues. If plaque is not completely eliminated, it could solidify and accumulate into a deposit known as Tartar. The tartar, which deposits below the gum line, could cause severe inflammation and infection.
- Smokers are prone to heightened risks of Periodontitis than non-smokers.
- Yet another major cause of Periodontal disease is Diabetes.
- Stress, pregnancy and birth control pills also make a person more prone to infection.
- Steroids, anti-seizure medicines, cancer medicines, and blood pressure medicines can also have a very bad impact on the gums.
Some of the major symptoms of Gingivitis include inflammation and bleeding of the gums, bad breath, or bad taste in the mouth. In the case of Periodontitis, the gums withdraw backwards, and the roots of the teeth become visibly exposed. The teeth become extremely sensitive to variations in temperature. New cavities start to develop. The plaque that settles in the gap between the tooth and the gums hardens and becomes thoroughly difficult to remove. Owing to the formation of pus between the teeth and the gums, the permanent teeth tend to become loose in their sockets.
Here are a few tips towards self-care that will help to do away with Gum diseases.
- Brush and floss your teeth at least twice every day.
- Change your toothbrush every 3 months.
- Always use toothpaste that contains fluoride.
- Use a mouthwash that works best against bacteria.
- Always eat a well-balanced diet. Avoid consuming sweets.
- Visit your dentist regularly for cleaning your teeth and check-ups.