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What Is Gum Disease and How to Prevent It?

Written and reviewed by
MDS - Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
Dentist, Jaipur  •  9years experience
What Is Gum Disease and How to Prevent It?

Gum disease is characterized by inflammation of the gums caused by the bacteria present in plaque (a colorless and sticky film on the teeth). This disease affects the soft tissue and the bones surrounding the teeth. The bacteria causes irritation in the gums leading to infection and bleeding, while brushing your teeth.

The symptoms of gum disease are bleeding gums, over sensitive gums, continuous bad breath, change in the normal placement of teeth etc.

Following are a number of reasons why gum diseases occur, some of them are: 

  1. Prevailing diseases: Sometimes diseases, such as malignant tumors and AIDS can disrupt the immune system of the body. Due to the malfunctioning immune system, the gums become vulnerable to issues such as cavities.
  2. Smoking and alcohol consumption: Smoking and alcohol consumption cause problems in the gum tissue as the gums lose their ability to repair themselves effectively.
  3. Hormonal changes: Changes in behavior of the hormones in the body can increase sensitivity in the gums. This can make the gums prone to diseases.
  4. Not following proper dental hygiene: Not brushing and flossing on a regular basis can cause plaque accumulation in the teeth. The bacteria present in the plaque may cause gum diseases.
  5. Family history: If many people in the family have suffered from gum disorders, then your chances of getting gum diseases are relatively higher.

How can you prevent gum disease?
Gum diseases can be prevented by following proper dental hygiene. Brushing twice a day and flossing on a regular basis are the best methods of preventing gum diseases. Regular dental checkups are also recommended to identify any gum problems early and also prevent them. Modifications in lifestyle such as limiting smoking, eating a diet rich in antioxidants and reducing stress can also help in preventing gum diseases.

Severe cases of gum diseases may require surgery but mild cases can disappear by following a proper dental hygiene. Gum diseases have also been known to be associated with diabetes and heart diseases.

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