What is Gum Disease?
Posted on 2/6/2023 by Dr. Boustany
|Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an inflammatory disease that affects gums and associated tissues around the teeth. The tissues surrounding the teeth include gingiva (the gums), cementum which is the outer part of your tooth's roots, the periodontal ligament which are the ligaments connecting your teeth to their sockets, and the alveolar bone which is the bone upon which the teeth sit.
Gingivitis and Periodontitis
If not treated early enough, gingivitis escalates to periodontitis. The latter stage of gum disease –periodontitis- can cause bleeding and swelling of gums and can be prevented by good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups. Periodontitis affects the bone that secures the teeth to the jaw bone and eventually leads to the loss of teeth.
What Causes Gum Disease
The most common cause of gum disease is oral microbiomes, i.e., bacteria inside your mouth. The bacteria forms plaque, a thin film that forms on your teeth from food deposits- which eventually hardens to tartar.
It can be caused by poor oral care caused by not brushing or flossing teeth, diabetes, medications that cause gingival enlargement, smoking, hormonal changes during pregnancy, reduced autoimmunity, psychological stress, and deficiency of Vitamins B, C, D, E, and K.
Symptoms of Gum Disease and PeriodontitisGingivitis can lead to swollen gums which turn red and become itchy or tender. Another key indicator is bleeding while brushing your teeth, bad breath, or a bad taste in your mouth. Symptoms of periodontitis include spaces between your gums and teeth caused by the degradation of connective tissues, loose teeth, pain while chewing, and increased tooth sensitivity.
Treatment of Gingivitis and Periodontitis
Gingivitis can be treated through good dental health and by cleaning. However, periodontitis is irreversible and is treated surgically. If you have any of the symptoms mentioned above, call us and we'll schedule an appointment.