Maintaining proper oral health is essential for overall wellness. As most dental healthcare professionals can attest, your teeth and mouth’s condition can affect your heart, kidneys, and other important organs and systems in the body. Apart from your teeth, however, your gums can also deteriorate and get damaged due to different risk factors. To know more about gum diseases, reputable dental offices can provide these pieces of information.
Causes and Risk Factors of Gum Disease
Oral bacteria, mucus, and other particles form a sticky and colorless plaque on the teeth and gums. While regular brushing and flossing help remove plaque, these practices may not effectively clean all surfaces of the teeth and gum tissue, allowing bacteria to invade and damage the gums. Risk factors such as smoking, diabetes, and medications can also affect gum health, consequently promoting the development of gum disease in your mouth.
Gingivitis and Periodontitis
Bacteria living in tooth grooves and surfaces cause gum inflammation called gingivitis. Red and swollen gums bleed easily, especially during brushing or flossing. This mild form of gum disease can be reversed by proper brushing and flossing and through regular oral prophylaxis. Periodontitis, on the other hand, is an advanced form of gingivitis where the gums pull away from the teeth and form spaces that eventually become infected. A dentist might resort to extracting loose teeth from patients with periodontitis.
Apart from red or swollen gums, gingivitis and periodontitis involve tender or bleeding gums, receding gums, and loose and sensitive teeth. If you have bad breath that simply won’t go away, you can visit Dr. Kim Norman and have your oral health checked. These symptoms may indicate a serious problem and should be immediately addressed to prevent further complications. The dentist will ask about your medical history to determine risk factors and decide which type of treatment suits your oral condition.
A licensed and professional dentist can prescribe antibiotics if your periodontitis is not advanced. Topical antibiotics in the form of mouth rinses, threads, and gels can reduce infection-causing bacteria in your teeth and gums. Scaling and root planning can also treat periodontitis in its early stages.
If your gum disease did not respond to non-surgical treatments, you may need to undergo surgery to preserve your teeth and gum health. Flap or pocket reduction surgery, soft tissue grafts, and bone grafting are some surgical treatments for advanced periodontitis. Visit your dentist in Knoxville TN to have your gum condition monitored and to determine necessary treatments for any periodontal concern.