Gum disease begins as inflammation, often in response to the acid released by oral bacteria. If left untreated, the condition can eventually cause bone and tooth loss. Nevertheless, gum disease is treatable and even reversible in most cases. Here is some additional information about gum disease and how it can be treated:
Can gum disease affect anyone?
Gum disease is not reserved for a specific age group. It can affect anyone. However, the impact and severity may be different for people with certain conditions.
A pregnant woman with gum disease may have an increased chance of delivering preterm or having a low-birth-weight baby. The hormones associated with the pregnancy increase the amount of blood flowing to the gums and makes the gingival tissue more likely to bleed and become inflamed.
Smokers may be more apt to incur gum disease because of irritants found in tobacco. These irritants, paired with a decline in blood oxygen levels, can cause a smoker's gums to be more reluctant to heal when inflamed.
People with poorly controlled blood sugars may also see a decline in their gum health. The number of oral bacteria in the mouth often increases in response to higher blood sugar levels. In addition, diabetics with fluctuating blood sugar levels may be more prone to gum infections.
What treatments are available for gum disease?
Gum disease is treated differently based on the severity and symptoms of the condition.
Gingivitis is the earliest type of gum disease. It is usually indicated by red, swollen gum tissues that bleed easily as you brush.
Gingivitis can be quickly reversed through proper oral hygiene. Flossing and brushing should be completed regularly and thoroughly. In addition, an antimicrobial mouthwash can be added to lower the number of microbes in the mouth.
Periodontitis is a severe form of gum disease that may include the formation of pockets around the gum line. In addition, the gums may be infected.
Treatment of periodontitis usually includes root planing and scaling. Infected material and tartar are scraped from the teeth beneath the gums. In addition, the roots of the teeth are smoothed to lessen gum irritation. As the gum tissue heals around the teeth, it is important to use antibacterial rinses and good oral hygiene to prevent the recurrence of the condition.
To learn more about gum disease and the measures you can take to reverse it, schedule an appointment with a dentist, like one from Bahman Guiv Dental, in your local area.