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Overall oral health consists of health of both the soft and the hard tissues in the mouth. While teeth are the hard tissues, the soft tissues include the lips, tongue, cheek, palate, and most importantly the gums. The gums or the periodontium (perio - around, dont - tooth) surrounds the tooth and provides nutritional support and structural support with its connective tissue. The gums are the unsung heroes in maintaining a healthy set of teeth.
It is common observation that dental decay is more attended to than gum disease. The symptoms associated with decay, be it discoloration, food lodgment, sensitivity, and sometimes pain are a lot more demanding.
The bad news is that the same bacteria have a harmful effect on the gums too. The good news is that gum disease also (like tooth decay), takes time to develop. The bacteria in the mouth and the plaque are the main initiators of gum disease too. It is more innocuous and not immediately attended to, sometime even gets ignored for years until it become severe and mandates treatment. Certain medical conditions like pregnancy, diabetes, stroke, etc., lead to greater severity of the gum disease.
Chronic gum or periodontal disease, if left untreated, can even lead to multiple tooth loss and require dentures much earlier than required. It is not difficult to diagnose gum disease as the symptoms are quite easy to identify, including
- Red, swollen, or painful gums: As with any infection, redness and swelling and pain are the first symptoms of gum disease too.
- Spontaneous bleeding of gums: The gums can look spongy and puffed and can sometimes bleed without even a touch
- Chronic bad breath: The bacteria are constantly acting on the food debris to produce acid, leading to a bad breath (halitosis)
- Pressure on the gums can produce pus: Cumulative infection can lead to gingival abscess
- Bad taste in the mouth: If there is an abscess, it will discharge pus into the mouth, leading to this metallic taste
- Gingival recession, where the tooth appears to have grown longer. The gum line recedes from its original place, exposing more of the tooth. This also causes greater sensitivity, especially to hot or cold foods
- Slight loosening of the teeth (in severe cases) as the fibers loosen their hold around the tooth.
- Painful chewing, it puts extra pressure on the fibers of the periodontium.
Some people are more prone for gum disease than others. The risk factors include smoking, increased
female hormones, and chronic illnesses like diabetes and cancer.
Management: Regular visits to the dentist can help identify these at an early stage and manage both progression and severity. Additionally, managing risk factors like smoking and chronic illnesses also is helpful.
The consumption of too many acidic foods erodes the enamel on your teeth
grinding of the teeth also destroys the natural structure of your teeth. Over time, your teeth might become sensitive.
The roots of your teeth are nicely protected by gum tissue, but when the gums recede the root becomes exposed thus causing sensitive teeth.
Recent Dental Work
Short term tooth sensitivity can also be caused by recent dental work. You should not worry, because this is only a temporary side effect and sensitivity will go away in a few weeks.
I have sensitive teeth and already have crown for three teeth. My front lower both teeth lost their gum low. Doctors told me its called bone loss and shortened them put the cap on both teeth. But still I feel its not strong and it has torture like black out line though I clean them well. How many root canals we can get? Is there any cancer problem through RC? How to avoid stain in crowned teeth and make them strong? How to support other good teeth without RC?
Hi. I am 25 male. 2days ago I am fall down on a concrete slap. Its hit at the lower portion of my mouth. Now I can't open my mouth properly. When trying start pain in my lower jow.� teeth are also slidely broke. Please help me. What can I do?
I am 26 years old male & I have bad breath problem since 8 years. I have consulted at least 10 dentists & all of them told that my mouth good, teeth & gum are good & hygienic. So I want to know exact problem & solution for that. Thanks & regards, Syed.
Rigt side upper wisdom teeth partially gone. No ache. I do not want to extract that. Can it be filled or put a cap on it?
My teeth are yellow even if I brush daily. I have tried toothpastes but yellowness does not reduce. Please prescribe me some good toothpaste for this problem. Also tell if there is any other remedy for it. Thanks in advance.
Sir my teeth is paining what type of medicine I need to take please can you give the name of the medicine cure the teeth problem.
I am 25 years old and I have gums and teeth problems I smoke lot of cigarettes is dat d problem please suggest me a doctor with reasonable charges.
What causes tooth decay?
Bacteria and food can cause tooth decay. A clear, sticky substance called plaque is always forming on your teeth and gums. Plaque contains bacteria that feed on the sugars in the food you eat.
As the bacteria feed, they make acids. The acids attack the teeth for 20 minutes or more after you eat. Over time, these acids destroy tooth enamel, causing tooth decay.
Things that make you more likely to have tooth decay include:
- Not brushing and flossing your teeth regularly and not seeing a dentist for checkups and cleanings.
- Eating foods that are high in sugar and other carbohydrates, which feed the bacteria in your mouth.
- Not getting enough fluoride. Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making teeth more resistant to acids produced by plaque.
- Not having enough saliva. Saliva washes away food and harmful sugars, so it helps protect your teeth from decay. A dry mouth may be caused by a condition such as xerostomia or sjögren's syndrome, by taking certain medicines, or by breathing through your mouth. Older adults are more likely to have a dry mouth.
- Having diabetes.
- Chewing tobacco.