- Observe if your gum is swollen or reddish along the area of its’ contact with the teeth.
- Ask yourself if you have gums that are bleeding more often
- Do you observe that your gums have a rolled out margin
- Recession of gum
- Change in the alignment of teeth (Spacing, proclination, etc.)
- Are you suffering from persistent bad breath
- Do you feel that your teeth are loose and not held by the gum strongly
- In extreme cases, have you observed pus surrounding the gum and teeth
- If the answer is yes to any of the above, then you might have gum related ailments.
What are the gum related diseases?
The gum diseases start as a gingivitis. The plaque buildup causes inflammation in the gumline. If the plaque buildup goes beyond a certain point, the plaque bacteria infects and irritates the gum tissues causing the first signs of Gingivitis namely change in the color, texture and bleeding gums.
This is the next stage and at this stage, the supporting bone and fibers that encircle the teeth are damaged. Here pockets appear that seem to trap and hold the food which in turn strengthens and builds more plaque.
The supporting bone and fibers that encircle the teeth are completely destroyed at this stage and as a result, the teeth become loose and can shift.
Some medications are said to cause gingivitis. Common among the drugs that cause gingivitis or gum diseases are some of the blood pressure medications like verapamil, diltiazem, etc. The symptoms are absolutely similar to that of normal gingivitis but the main difference is the cause is different.
When the drug-induced gingivitis is not treated, it proceeds to the next stage of periodontitis. More plaque buildup is characteristic of periodontitis and the supporting bone and fibers encircling the teeth are damaged like normal periodontitis.
Most times women get gingivitis during pregnancy. That is why oral hygiene is paramount during the time of pregnancy.
Treatment of Gum Diseases
- Scaling – The initial stages of gum diseases can be reversed by getting a professional tooth cleaning done by your dentist. Teeth cleaning by the dentist ensures removal of plaque buildup. Instruments like ultrasonic periodontal scalers and curettes are used for scaling.
- Deep Scaling – If the plaque has gone a bit deeper between the gum and the teeth, then deep scaling procedure might be required. The area where the plaque is harbored is generally referred as “pockets”. The same scaling equipment like ultrasonic scalers and curettes are used a bit deeper to clear the pocket of infection.
- Root Planning – The advanced gum disease condition means the pockets of plaque has continued down the gums and are probably too deep. This deep pocket plaque buildup has to be cleaned and the procedure to clean them is “Root Planning”. First, the normal scaling procedure is carried out. After scaling the teeth, the dentist would smoothen the root surface of the teeth. Here the plaque and other hardened tartars are eliminated from the root surface.
- Gingival Curettage – It is a technique where the inner diseased gingival wall of a periodontal pocket is separated by scrapping. It is normally done after root planning procedure is completed. The treatment mechanism involves administering local anesthesia to the patient.
- Flap Surgeries – Flap surgeries are performed when infection and the resulting inflammation has resulted in periodontal disease. Due to the extensive infection, the tissue attached with the teeth becomes loose. The periodontal pocket tissues are completely removed using scalpels and the gum is recontoured surgically in this procedure.
- Laser Assisted Flap Surgeries – This procedure is also for people affected with periodontal diseases. The periodontal pocket tissues are treated with laser in this type of flap surgery. The laser acts as a disinfectant and also they act as a scalpel that cuts and shapes the infected gum tissue (non-surgically) thereby removing the infected tissues completely. The advantage of the laser is they cause minimal blood loss and there is no need for suturing as the wounds are closed by laser.