Gum disease is also known as periodontal disease or gingivitis. The ailment begins with growth of bacteria in the mouth and if not treated early, can result in tooth loss due to wearing away of the tissue that surrounds the teeth.
Medically, there is a difference between gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis refers to gum inflammation and usually precedes periodontitis, which refers to gum disease. However, not all gingivitis progresses to periodontitis.
In the beginning stages of gingivitis, plaque buildup causes gums to become inflamed easily and a person may have bleeding gums when brushing the teeth. At the early stages, the gums may be irritated but the teeth will not come off their sockets. No tissue damage has usually occurred at this stage.
When gingivitis is not treated over an extended period, it can progress to periodontitis. At this stage, the inner layer of the gum and bone wear off and pull away from the tooth, leaving sockets. The small spaces between the gums and the tooth can become infected by bacteria and grow beyond the gumline.
As the body’s immune system fights the infections on the tooth, the bone and the connective tissue that hold the teeth in place break down in the process. As the condition progresses, the gum tissues further get destroyed, teeth becomes loss and eventually leaves the sockets, causing teeth loss.
How to Prevent Gum Diseases
To prevent gum disease, it is important to maintain good oral hygiene. You should brush and floss your teeth regularly, eat a healthy diet and visit your dentist at least twice a year. Below are some good hygiene tips:
If you have bleeding gums, following the above oral hygiene tips will help to reduce and eventually stop the bleeding. However, if you do not see any improvement of your gums within a few days, visit your dentist for a thorough checkup.