Gum disease is a devastating threat that affects teeth, gums, oral health, facial appearance and jawbone tissue – leading to shrinkage of jawbone tissue which leads to loss of teeth.
Gum disease symptoms typically include swollen, bleeding or red gums that bleed easily and become painful to touch. Diabetes or certain medications could be contributing factors.
They help keep your teeth in place
Gums serve two key functions in keeping your teeth securely anchored to the jaw bone: they protect and secure ligaments that affix each tooth to the jaw bone; as well as creating an anchor point for each root of each tooth. Healthy gums should appear pink when being brushed or flossed and shouldn’t bleed when being brushed or flossed – any bleeding indicates gum disease, which if untreated can harm tissues and bones that support teeth in place.
Gingivitis, the initial stage of gum disease, can be defined by red, swollen and bleeding gums that bleed easily and frequently. Gingivitis can be reversed through professional cleaning sessions from a dental hygienist as well as daily brushing and flossing with antiseptic mouthwash to minimize further complications.
Gingivitis can lead to periodontitis if left untreated, an advanced stage of gum disease that destroys tissue and bone supporting teeth, can affect bite, cause loose or missing teeth, and has serious implications for health. To avoid gum disease altogether it’s important to brush, floss, rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash regularly, see your dentist regularly for professional cleanings, and make an effort in self-care by brushing, flossing and seeing an antiseptic mouthwash containing antimicrobials, as well as keeping clean by brushing, flossing regularly using antimicrobials such as Cloroxx Antimicrobial mouthwash for best results.
Gum disease treatments include antibiotics and surgery. Antibiotics can stop the growth of bacteria that cause infection and inflammation, including through oral rinses, gels, or fiber placed directly in gum pockets. They can also be combined with scaling and root planing techniques to kill bacteria and promote healing. Furthermore, you can undergo surgical procedures where your gum pockets are opened, cleaned out, stitched closed again after sterilization, as well as adding healthy grafts of gum tissue directly onto damaged areas of gums by your dentist.
Diet should also be carefully considered, as certain foods can contribute to gum disease. Starchy or sugary foods can increase bacteria count in the mouth, leading to plaque buildup which produces acids which attack tooth enamel and create cavities. It’s wise to refrain from smoking or chewing tobacco since both habits increase risk for gum disease.
They help protect your teeth from decay
Tooth decay is a serious dental problem that can lead to gum disease, bad breath and even tooth loss. But the good news is that it’s also preventable. The most common cause of tooth decay is plaque, a sticky film that contains bacteria. Bacteria feed on sugars in food and drink and produce acids that attack the enamel of teeth. If these acids are allowed to remain on the teeth, they will destroy it over time and eventually lead to a cavity. Regular brushing and flossing, limiting snacks and drinking water instead of soda and fruit juice can help reduce the build-up of plaque. Taking fluoride supplements and using a mouth rinse that contains fluoride can strengthen enamel and make it more resistant to acid attacks.
In the earliest stage of tooth decay, called demineralization, you may notice chalky white spots on your teeth. These are traces of the breakdown of enamel due to the action of bacteria and acid. If not treated, the damage can progress to the dentin layer beneath the enamel. The softer dentin is more vulnerable to acid attacks than the harder enamel, so tooth decay can quickly progress to this stage. If left untreated, the infection can reach the pulp of your tooth, which contains nerves and blood vessels that transport nutrients to the tooth. The infection can cause pain, sensitivity and swelling of the gums and jaw. The pus from the infection can also ooze through the tip of the root and form a pocket of pus at the end of the tooth root (periapical abscess).
To prevent this, eat a balanced diet of foods that contain protein and calcium, and avoid sugary foods and drinks. If you do eat these foods, brush your teeth immediately afterwards to remove the bacteria and food particles that can encourage plaque and decay. Aim to brush your teeth at least twice a day, using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a small amount of toothpaste with fluoride. Floss daily to clean between your teeth and use an interdental cleaner like the Oral-B Interdental Brush, Reach Stim-U-Dent or Sulcabrush to remove any trapped debris. Ask your dentist about rinsing with a mouthwash that contains fluoride and about sealants, plastic protective coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of back teeth (molars) to protect them from cavities.
They are a natural part of your smile
Gums are part of the soft tissue lining your mouth and provide a seal around your teeth and protection for sensitive tissue in your cheeks and lips from food friction. Healthy gums should have a light pink hue without bleeding during brushing or eating. Red and puffy gums could be an indicator of gingivitis, which can progress into serious gum disease. Gum disease can lead to pain, bleeding, tooth loss and other health complications; fortunately it’s easily avoidable by practicing good oral hygiene: brush twice daily and floss every day between your teeth; also try eating healthily; avoid smoking tobacco products and visit your dentist regularly for cleanings and exams.
Your smile’s aesthetic appearance depends on several factors, including the proportion between its length and width of teeth. This ratio affects your lower and upper jaws, neck, face, skin color and skin type. Furthermore, proper occlusion – how your chewing surfaces come together – has an impactful influence on oral health including teeth gums, neck muscles and joints as well as jaw joints.
Apart from its color, gum size and texture are equally essential components of an attractive smile. In general, healthy gums should have coral pink hues with tight surfaces. White or very pale pink gums could indicate anemia; finally, their thickness should match that of your tooth enamel.
If you have lost a tooth, gum graft surgery can restore its functionality by taking gum tissue from elsewhere in your mouth or body and transplanting it back. The goal of gum grafting surgery is to repair receding gum lines, replace missing tooth structure or treat an exposed root surface while encouraging your body to regrow tissues naturally resulting in stronger and more stable grafts than artificial ones.
They can be a sign of health problems
Gingiva (gums), more commonly referred to as gum tissue, protects and anchors your teeth tightly to each other. When healthy, gums should appear pink and firm without bleeding or hurting when touched; however, if red or swollen gums, chronic bacterial infections, sores in your mouth or on your gums, loose or wobbly teeth or looseness arise within days, these could all be symptoms of gum disease; you should visit a dentist immediately to address it as these could potentially indicate more serious health problems within minutes!
Smoking increases your risk for periodontitis – an advanced form of gum disease which destroys gum tissue and leads to tooth loss – while stress, drug or alcohol abuse, or hormone changes all increase this risk.
People suffering from gum disease are at an increased risk for heart disease, as bacteria from their mouth can enter their bloodstream and travel directly to the heart, potentially damaging both organs as well as kidneys and brain function. Studies have revealed that treating gum disease can lower one’s risk of heart attack, stroke or other related issues related to cardiovascular conditions.
Gum disease has long been linked with heart disease and other serious health issues, but more recently it has been shown to play an active role in leading to diabetes as well. Studies have demonstrated that those living with gum disease tend to have higher concentrations of sugar in their saliva which damages teeth while potentially leading to diabetes.
Gum disease is often the result of buildups of plaque containing millions of bacteria that damage gum tissue and result in swollen, bleeding gums. If not removed promptly, this bacteria can harden into tartar that damages both gum tissue and causes severe tooth decay. Other signs include persistent bad breath (halitosis) and tender swollen or bleeding gums – both are indicators of potential issues within your body such as Crohn’s disease or an autoimmune condition that needs further investigation.
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