Gum disease or gum infection refers to the ailment of the soft tissues (gingiva) around the teeth. Gum disease is often caused by plaque accumulated in the gum line. The bacteria thrive in the sticky deposit of plaque on the teeth and produce acidic waste that decays the teeth and results in cavities. Plaque is a thin film of a sticky and colorless mixture of saliva, food particles and bacteria.
Everyday oral hygiene can effectively prevent gum disease.
Causes of Gum Disease
The main cause of gum disease is the lack of oral hygiene. Follow good oral hygiene to keep gum infection away. However, bacteria or plaque is not the only cause of gum disease. There are some other factors too that can lead to gum infection. They are:
Symptoms of Gum Disease
One of the early symptoms of gum disease is painless gum bleeding. Pain is a symptom of advanced gum disease when the bone loss around the teeth results in gum pockets. The bacteria accumulated in these gum pockets cause infection, swelling, pain, and bone destruction.
Here is a list of symptoms of gum infection:
Receding soft tissue
Gaps emerging between the teeth
A bad taste in the mouth
Soreness or tenderness in the mouth
The development of sores
Bright red soft tissue
Changes in the bite
Pus between teeth and gums
To understand your overall oral health, look for blood on the toothbrush or in the water while cleaning your mouth in the morning. In some cases, individuals may find the tissue bleeds when they are eating, which can leave an unpleasant taste in the mouth. If you observe any of these symptoms, immediately see a dental professional.
Gum diseases are divided into two categories
Gingivitis occurs when the gums are red, swollen and occasionally bleed while brushing the teeth.
Periodontal disease occurs when gingivitis is left untreated. The infection spreads to the inner layer of the gum. This leads to loss of the bone that holds or anchors the teeth in the jaw.
Treatment of Gum Disease
The treatment for early gum disease involves cleaning of teeth at a dental clinic. This treatment involves the removal of plaque accumulated on the teeth.
The treatment moderate or advanced gum disease involves cleaning of tartar (hard plaque) from the teeth and cleaning of the (teeth) root. The process of root cleaning is called “root planing” and “subgingival curettage”. These processes are done after administering local anesthesia. Root planing ensures all the gum pockets are cleared of any accumulated plaque and bacteria.
The treatment for periodontal disease with bone destruction or loose teeth may involve teeth splinting or teeth extraction. Depending on the severity, the treatment may use:
Non-surgical Treatment for Gum Disease
Professional Teeth Cleaning : A dentist removes all the deposits accumulated on the teeth using curettes and ultrasonic devices.
Scaling and Root Planing : A dentist manually removes the tartar or calculus, a yellow or brown colored deposit, on the teeth. Tartar is accumulated at the root surface of the teeth, below the gum line.
Splinting : The dentist uses the splinting technique to attach all the weak teeth together in a single unit. This makes the teeth more stable and results in easy chewing.
Antibiotics & Antibiotics Fiber : Prescribed antibiotics temporarily reduce the gum disease and limit the damage caused to the tooth and bone attachment. The antibiotic fibers are used along with scaling and root planing. The dentist places the fibers directly into the pockets and removes them 7-10 days later. Antibacterial mouth rinses are also recommended to control plaque.
Bite correction : An imbalanced bite speeds up bone destruction. In this treatment, your teeth are adjusted for proper and better function. A removable bite-guard is required to protect the teeth surfaces and relax tense muscles.
Surgical Treatment for Gum Disease
Flap Surgery : In this surgery, the periodontist detaches the gum from the teeth and creates a “flap” to access the infected gum pocket. The periodontist cleans the pockets and then sews the gum flap back.
Gingivectomy : This surgery is opted in case of severe gum disease. This surgery is done when the gums pull away from the teeth and create excessive gum pockets. These pockets make it difficult to clean the plaque.
Osseous (bone) surgery : In this surgery, the infected gum tissues and damaged bone around the teeth are trimmed, removed, or recontoured. This surgery removes the deep pockets and bacteria. It also reshapes the damaged bone so that the gum tissues can be reattached to the stronger bone.
Bone Grafts : This surgery is done when the bone around the teeth root is damaged. Bone grafting is done to replace the damaged bone with a new bone. In this surgery, new bone is grown either by using the patient’s bone, synthetic bone, or a donated bone.
Soft Tissue Graft : In this surgery, the decreasing or receding gum line is restored. Gum recession occurs when the gum tissue is lost. The dental surgeon takes a graft from the palate and transplants it on the receding area to improve the gum line and prevent further recede.
Can gum disease recur?
Yes, gum disease can recur if proper oral health care is not followed. This reduces the symptoms of periodontal disease and slows down bone loss.
What is a gum boil?
An abscess or a boil or a sore developed on the gum is Gum Boil. These boils are often a result of bacteria from food particles, plaque, and tooth decay. This leads to infection under the gum surface.
If left untreated, boils can break through the soft tissues of the mouth and drain.
Symptoms of gum boil:
Sensitivity to hot or cold
Primarily, gum boils are an effect of poor oral hygiene. Maintain good oral hygiene to avoid gum boils.
How are gum boils treated?
Visit a dentist to resolve the issue. Your dentist may recommend antibiotics to treat the infection. This is done along with:
Deep dental cleaning, if the gums are unhealthy
Root canal treatment, if the boils are a result of tooth decay
Adjustment of dentures, if the denture is poorly fitted
As a home remedy, you can gargle with salt water, rinse your mouth with mouthwash, etc.
What is a gummy smile?
A smile where your gums are excessively displayed under the upper lip is a gummy smile. It is also known as an excessive gingival display.
It is caused by:
abnormal dental eruption
over-eruption of the maxillary anterior teeth
hyperfunction of the upper lip elevator muscle
excessive vertical growth of the maxilla bone
Gum contouring procedure is used to remove excess gum tissue and uncover the crown of the teeth. Your gum line is carefully carved to create the correct proportion between the gum tissue and tooth surface to give a beautiful and perfect smile.
At Hyderabad Smiles Advanced Dental Hospitals, the highly qualified and experienced dentists treat all the dental problems with utmost care. We believe in giving you a bright smile forever.