Gum DiseasePeriodontal gum disease, more commonly known as gum disease is an inflammation of the gum tissue surrounding the teeth and is the leading cause of tooth loss. Gingivitis occurs when the gum tissues become infected with bacteria and is the precursor to periodontal disease.
Once the bacteria has been allowed to develop to the point of gum disease, toxins are released by these bacterial colonies in order to destroy the teeth's bone and connective tissues ultimately resulting in tooth loss.
Causes of Gum DiseaseThe important thing to note, is that gum disease is entirely preventable with proper and regularly maintained oral hygiene. Plaque is one of the leading contributors to oral health problems. Plaque is easily removed with daily brushing and flossing. When plaque is not removed it hardens creating calculus. Bacteria may then begin to colonize causing gingivitis and gum disease.
There are some medications that can produce negative affects on your oral health. Medications that cause dry mouth and hinder a healthy amount of saliva flow can make patients more susceptible to gum disease.
Clenching the teeth or grinding during sleep can weaken the teeth's surrounding tissue and may make patients more vulnerable to periodontal disease.
Patients with conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease etc. that impair their bodies ability to produce sugar have been noted to have a susceptibility to gum disease. The medications prescribed for such conditions also may cause an overgrowth in gum tissue weakening the gums against bacteria and increasing the chances of gum disease.
Signs of Gum DiseaseMore obvious signs of gum disease include the formation of pus-filled pockets between the teeth and gums and gum recession. Your dentist will examine you teeth to check for bone recession, a crucial contributor to the loss of teeth. Other signs you may detect yourself include the following:
- Bad breath
- Bleeding gums during or after brushing and flossing
- Shifted teeth
- Swollen, red or sensitive gums
- Mouth sores
- Gums that appear shiny