To overcome gum disease, the first thing you must do is identify the type of disease. If your gums are swollen or you see blood in the sink when you brush, you may have gingivitis. If left untreated and suffer severe gum and bone damage, the disease could worsen and develop into advanced periodontitis. Either way, you’ll have to commit to a new routine to fix it: incorporate brushing, flossing, and rinsing habits.
What is actually the gum disease is?
Gum disease is an infection of the mouth caused by thick layers of bacteria adhering to the gums and teeth.
4 ways to fight with gum disease
- Give your mouth a better routine
Gum disease mainly develops if we reduce the level of our oral care. If gum disease is in an early stage, the solution only lies in improving the routine for cleaning dirt. Brushing after meals, flossing, and gargling with antiseptic mouthwash twice a day can stop gingivitis in its tracks.
Also schedule regular checkups with your dentist, since if plaque turns into tartar, it can only be removed with professional cleanings. Early gum disease can be prevented if action is taken quickly.
2. Perform a deep cleaning
If you adopt better oral health routines and fail to alleviate your gum disease symptoms, you likely have a more advanced infection that has a deep, hard-to-reach bacterial space around the base of your teeth. A deep cleaning by a dentist or periodontist every 6 months is the best way to remove tartar from your mouth.
3. Seek pharmacological reinforcements
If problems persist, you may be prescribed antibiotics to eradicate the microbes causing the infection in your mouth, from topical gels to spread in the spaces between your gums and teeth to antibiotic rinses.
4. Leave everything in the hands of the experts
To treat more advanced forms of gum disease, your dentist may recommend one of several types of gum surgery, or even a combination of them, to remove deep bacterial space and inflammation.
Options include flap surgery (in which the gums are separated from the teeth, tartar is removed, and the gums are sutured back around the tooth); soft tissue grafts (which replace eroded gums to cover exposed roots); bone grafts (to replace bone with grafts from humans or animals and even with artificial material); and tissue regeneration (to try to regrow lost bone).
These interventions are as complex as they seem, so it is best to avoid them whenever possible.
HOW TO PREVENT GUM DISEASE
Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease and is caused by plaque buildup on the teeth.
Establish daily oral care habits
Preventing gingivitis involves maintaining basic oral care habits every day. A twice-daily routine of brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash prevents odor-causing bacteria from taking over your mouth. Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day helps prevent plaque from causing problems.
However, brushing alone reaches 25% of the mouth. Antiseptic mouthwash reaches almost 100% of your mouth, so adding twice-daily mouthwash to your routine can further reduce your risk of gum disease.
Visiting the dentist at least once every six months
is a great way to keep your mouth clean and healthy. Professional cleanings and routine checkups can prevent most oral health problems like gum disease. Your dentist or hygienist can detect signs of gum disease before you do.
Additionally, it is important that if you notice that your gums are softening, bleeding, receding, or you have persistent bad breath or a loose tooth, it is time to visit the dentist.
What causes gingivitis or early-stage gum disease?
Gingivitis, a form of gum disease, is an infection that is usually caused by the buildup of bacteria in the mouth. What are the causes of gingivitis? Sticky bacteria called plaque , which can build up on teeth if not removed through proper oral hygiene practices, such as brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash. Over time, the gums become inflamed and infected, causing gum disease.
Other factors that can cause gum disease and gingivitis include tobacco use, certain medications, hormonal changes, and underlying medical conditions such as diabetes.
Smoking or chewing tobacco
Can smoking cause gum disease? Studies have shown that smokers are more likely to develop gum disease than non-smokers. Smoking can also make it difficult to effectively treat gum disease, as the body’s immune system responds differently to professional treatment 1 . It is important to stop using tobacco to reduce the risk of developing gum disease or to control active gum infections.
Hormonal changes in women
Does pregnancy predispose to gingivitis? In some cases, yes. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can make the gums prone to inflammation, increasing the risk of gingivitis. Pregnant women may also be more likely to develop gingivitis because they do not prioritize regular dental visits throughout their pregnancy 2 . Fortunately, gingivitis symptoms usually improve after childbirth. It is essential to practice good oral hygiene during pregnancy ; In some research, oral infections have been linked to pregnancy complications.
Certain prescription medications can cause gingivitis symptoms, including gum inflammation. For example, anticonvulsants, calcium channel 3 blockers , and immunosuppressants can cause gums to swell and bleed easily.
Some nutrients that are important for healthy teeth and gums include adequate amounts of vitamin C, vitamin D, and calcium. Some omega-3 fatty acids may be beneficial in treating more severe forms of gum disease when combined with professional treatment 4,5 .
Family history of gum disease
A family history of gum disease can increase a person’s risk of developing gingivitis symptoms due to factors such as poor oral hygiene habits, lack of access to preventive dental care, diet, and inherited medical conditions. For example, people with diabetes need to know how their blood sugar levels can increase their chances of developing gum disease.
Inadequate oral hygiene
The best way to prevent gum disease is to establish a thorough, daily oral hygiene routine. Proper brushing, flossing, and using an antimicrobial, antigingivitis, and antiplaque mouthwash can help reduce plaque levels throughout your mouth to improve gum health.
Aging represents a greater risk for older adults
Older adults tend to have weaker immune systems. They also have a higher risk of tooth loss, which can lead to nutritional deficiencies from eating a diet of soft, processed foods. If this is combined with conditions that impact dexterity, such as arthritis, oral problems, such as gum disease, may become more common.
Frequently asked questions about the causes of gum disease
Q1: Over time, can gum disease cause tooth loss?
A: Yes. Because gum disease affects the supporting tissues around the roots of your teeth, untreated gingivitis can turn into periodontitis and cause gradual loosening of gum tissue and bone loss in those spaces. Over time, the affected teeth begin to shift and may fall out on their own.
Q2: What bacteria cause gingivitis?
A: One of the main types of bacteria that cause gum disease is P. gingivalis . These bacteria can survive without oxygen, meaning they can grow along and beneath the gum tissues, leading to dental complications such as gingivitis.