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What is Gum Disease, Really?

dental care

Definition- Gum disease refers to infection in the bone and tissue area surrounding the teeth, usually caused by bacteria contained in the food and plaque build-up on the teeth and gums. The plaque produces toxins that have a painful and irritating effect on the sensitive tissue. The plaque will harden over time and form calculus also known as tartar.

Whose at risk? Anybody and everybody is at risk of developing gum disease. However studies have identified teens specifically females as being more at risk. This can be attributed to over-active hormones during puberty making gums more susceptible to irritation. Smokers will also suffer more from gum disease than non-smokers. Medication, medical conditions as well as brace wearers fall in the high risk group.

Symptoms- Common symptoms of gym disease are gum bleeding during and after flossing or brushing teeth, gums are tender or swollen, gums pulling away from teeth, unpleasant breath and loose teeth.

Preventing-Remember that prevention is always better than cure. The only way to prevent gum disease to always maintain the highest degree of oral hygiene. Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day as well as after consuming sugary and acid food or beverages. Flossing is just as important as brushing as all the impossible to reach, in between spaces are cleaned with the floss.

Treatment- Treatment of the disease is determined by the severity of the condition. Scaling and root planing is used more as a method of prevention than a cure because of the scraping and removing of tartar and plaque from teeth and gums. Antibiotics in the form of mouthwashes, gels, fibres or pills is the most common treatment for gum disease. In case of really severe
periodontitis surgery and gingival grafting may be required to clean the infected areas.

Author: Scott W.

Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes only and does not intend to advise on, diagnose or treat any health condition, including, but not limited to dental health. If you have a health problem, visit your doctor or periodontist for advice, diagnosis and treatment. The USFDA has not evaluated statements about any products in this article.


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