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Gum disease begins with the growth of bacteria in your mouth and it may end with loss of teeth. Thus, the severity of gum disease or periodontitis should not be underestimated. Tooth loss mainly happens due to the destruction of the tissue which surrounds the teeth.
Types of gum disease:
- Gingivitis: Gingivitis is basically the first stage of periodontitis. It causes bleeding from the gums and also causes immense pain in the teeth.
- Periodontitis: In periodontitis, the gum and teeth separate. A gap is formed between the two which may cause debris to accumulate in the space and cause other infections.
Causes of gum disease:
The exact cause of gum disease is not known but here are some of the possible causes:
- Hormonal changes: Hormonal changes during pregnancy, menopause and puberty are just some times the gums become more sensitive and gingivitis develops.
- Illnesses: Cancer, HIV, diabetes and other illnesses may cause problems with the immune system and damage the gums. This is an example of how gingivitis is caused as a complication of other disorders.
- Bad habits: Smoking causes gum disease as you may already know.
- Poor oral hygiene: Not brushing and flossing may lead to accumulation of food materials in the mouth causing gum diseases.
- Family history: Family history is also a major contributing factor to what may cause gum disease.
The treatment prescribed for gum disease depends how deep it is set and whether it is a case of gingivitis or periodontitis. Here are the possible treatments for gum disease:
- Professional dental cleaning: This is the most common treatment used in the early stages of gum disease. In fact, dental cleanings are usually used to prevent it and are used as soon as tartar and plaque buildup.
- Scaling and root planing: This is also a type of cleaning except that it needs to be done under a local anesthetic as there is a certain degree of pain involved in the procedure.
- Surgery: Surgery is also sometimes used to remove the infected pockets and put the gums back in their original place.