Gum Diseases: An Overview

Summary: The doctors of today have started taking gum diseases seriously.
If the findings of the researches conducted recently are to be believed, these diseases trigger damages in other body parts. Oral infections are linked with diabetes, stroke, heart disease and low weight births. If not treated in time, these diseases may lead to serious health complications. This blog discusses at length how this disease is caused, its triggers, symptoms and treatment.

Our teeth are surrounded by the soft tissues and bones. They provide teeth a proper shape and appearance by holding them. Gum diseases, medically known as periodontal diseases, are actually the inflammation of the soft tissues and loss of bone. These diseases range from simple gum inflammation to serious diseases. The seriousness of these diseases is directly related to the care that you provide to your teeth and gums on a day-to-day basis, once any of the periodontal diseases is diagnosed.

How Gum Disease is Caused?
Our mouths happen to be the house of bacteria. Along with other particles like mucus, these bacteria form a colorless, sticky plaque on teeth. Though flossing and brushing of teeth remove the plaque, but if it is not removed, it may transform into hardened form “tartar”. Only a professional cleaning performed by a dentist can remove tartar. In essence, gum disease occurs when plaque is allowed to grow under the gum line.

Triggers of Gum Diseases
 Smoking: Smoking is the major risk factor associated with the occurrence and spread of gum diseases. So, if you are addicted to smoking, quit it as early as possible.
 Hormonal changes in girls/women: Hormonal changes in girls and women make them prone to get affected with gingivitis, a prominent gum disease.
People with diabetes are at higher risk for developing infections, including gum disease. Those who are diagnosed with diabetes, are at higher risk of getting infections, including the gum diseases. Therefore, diabetics need to maintain good personal hygiene, including teeth and gums.
 Genetic Predisposition: Sometimes you may blame your genes for getting the periodontal disease. There are some people who have genetic susceptibility to this disease and this is the reason they tend to get this disease more often.
 Consequence of treatment of serious diseases: Gum disease may become the consequence of the treatment of serious diseases, such as AIDS, Cancer, etc. Those who are diagnosed with AIDS, cancer or some equally dreadful disease, tend to get gum disease as the negative effect of the treatment of the disease.

 Medications: There are some medications that reduce the flow of saliva to a great extent. As saliva makes the mouth immune to infections, its reduction makes the mouth vulnerable to infections, like gum diseases. Apart, there are some medications that cause abnormal overgrowth of the gum tissues, thereby making it difficult to make good hygiene of teeth and gums.
Gender/age-wise distribution of Gum Diseases

In comparison to women, men are more susceptible to gum diseases. Though teenagers are also not immune to these diseases, but mostly they get affected with gingivitis, the milder form of the disease. The main problem in the diagnosis of these diseases is that the affected persons do not get any symptom, before they are in their 30s. If you want to keep the gum diseases at bay, examine your gums and teeth regularly. Consult your dentist immediately if there is any sign of inflammation.

Symptoms of Gum Diseases
Inflammation in Gums
Tenderness or Bleeding in Gums
Persistent Bad Breadth
Difficulty in Biting or Chewing
Loss of Teeth

Treatment of Gum Diseases
Controlling infection happens to be the main goal of treatment. However, the type of treatment will vary based on the nature, extent and seriousness of the disease. The doctor may suggest quitting smoking to improve the outcome of the treatment. But, all types of treatment invariably necessitate good daily care of gum and teeth.
                                 -----Ashish Jha