Gum Disease Causes and Information
Synopsis: Gum disease is a result of poor oral hygiene known to be especially prevalent in smokers as plaque that develops on teeth is a breeding ground for bacteria.1
Author: Ginger Gillenwater
Published: 2009-03-17 Updated: 2009-03-18
Main DigestGum disease is a result of poor oral hygiene. It is known to be especially prevalent in smokers. The plaque that develops on the teeth is a breeding ground for bacteria. That bacteria then works its way to the gum line in which it causes the gums to become red and irritated. Eventually, the condition will get worse, even leading to tooth abscess.
We all hear about gum disease in TV commercials and from our dentists. We may have even heard about it from a loved one who has had to battle it. No matter where we have heard this strange combination of words, we have a bit of curiosity within ourselves.
This is because we know that we all are susceptible to such a disease as gum disease. Some who have it have developed it easily, while others it has taken a bit longer. However long it takes, we want to know what it is, how to prevent it, and how to stop it. Well, there is no more wondering because here are the answers to those questions:
How does gum disease start?
Gum disease is a result of poor oral hygiene. It is known to be especially prevalent in smokers. The plaque that develops on the teeth is a breeding ground for bacteria. That bacteria then works its way to the gum line in which it causes the gums to become red and irritated. Eventually, the condition will get worse, even leading to tooth abscess.
How is it treated?
The primary way to treat it is through non-invasive techniques. This is through doing things such as root planing, scaling, and plaque removal. These things are done by a dentist. In addition, you can brush at least twice per day for two minutes per brushing session, brush with an oral balm, floss, and use a mouthwash.
How is gum disease prevented?
The exact opposite of what started it. You're going to prevent it by exercising good hygiene. Follow the steps from the previous question, How is it treated? and use the do-it-yourself methods that are described.
What are the effects of gum disease?
It first starts with red gums that later turn into swollen gums. Those swollen gums then start bleeding. After a while, gum lines may recede and tooth loss will result. This is a painful process, so it is recommended that you do something as soon as you notice something isn't right with your gums.
Are there more than one type?
Yes, there is Periodontitis and gingivitis. Gingivitis is not as severe as Periodontitis and can usually be taken care of through the usual oral routine. Periodontitis, on the other hand, involves bone, which is why some people lose their teeth as a result of gum disease.
Do people with gum disease just not brush their teeth?
This is a big reason why some develop gingivitis or Periodontitis, but it isn't the only reason. People who develop gum disease can still be avid brusher's. There are also other factors such as diabetes, smoking, genetics, and because of certain medications.
Reversing Gum Disease?
When it comes to reversing gum disease, there are no scientific formulas involved, just common sense. Ridding yourself of the dreadful disease depends completely on you. This means that no one can do it for you. Sure, you can go to the dentist and have the dentist tell you what you need to do, but only you can carry it out. With that said, it is important that you know what to do as soon as you realize there is a problem. This means taking action before you go to see your dentist.
The first phase of gum disease is gingivitis.
A dentist will usually prescribe antibiotics and a topical antibiotic to stop any infection from spreading and to kill it on the spot. There are also mouth rinses, tooth pastes, and oral balms that are designed to stop gum disease and reverse its effects.
Below are the steps that you should take in your oral hygiene routine and these steps should be carried out on a daily basis:
You have to spend at least two minutes brushing your teeth at least twice per day. Some individuals choose to brush their teeth three times per day.
Try to rinse your mouth with water after every meal so that you can rid your mouth of any food particles.
Floss at least once each day.
Flossing gets rid of any food particles between your teeth. Flossing also takes care of those hard-to-reach places that your toothbrush probably won't get.
If you have gaps between your teeth, you will most likely need an interdental brush. This will be more effective than flossing when it comes to gaps.
You can also use an oral irrigator to flush particles out from between your teeth. This is a great companion to flossing.
Make sure you rinse with mouthwashes daily. This is what kills the bacteria that is between your teeth.
Use an oral balm that uses natural ingredients.
You brush with the balm just like you would your toothpaste. It tackles that bacteria that is responsible for your gum disease.
Smoking and Gum Disease
Smoking not only harms your heart and lungs, but it also does harm to your gums.
This connection is very well known, but to further that known connection, there have been studies conducted that have confirmed this connection. Experts have said that, although smoking is one of the risk factors of gum disease, it is the only factor that is actually influenced by the individual. In other words, it is a self-inflicted factor.
Unfortunately, when talking about this, it is obvious that there are many different opinions when it comes to this connection. The research is there, but some don't like to acknowledge it. It is hard to comprehend that an individual can be responsible for their gum disease. Then again, smoking also interferes with organs within the body. It is no wonder that it interferes with your gums since your mouth is how the nicotine finds its way into the body.
How it works
The smoke and the nicotine in tobacco causes the blood vessels to constrict, therefore the oxygen to the gums and even certain nutrients are reduced. Tobacco use can also interfere with the body's ability to fight infections. Being that gum disease is an infection, the body will have a difficult time fighting off the disease. This means that smokers actually have the highest probability of gum disease. Ex smokers actually have the second highest probability. Former smokers and non-smokers also have a better response to treatment.
In one study that was conducted, it was found that 55% of the test subjects with gum disease were smokers and 22% were former smokers. Those who smoked more than one pack per day were six times more likely to develop gum disease. Those who smoked less than a pack were three times more likely to develop the disease.
The linkage between smoking and gum disease is quite evident. Any dentist will say that those who smoke have poorer oral hygiene than those who don't smoke. By stopping smoking and exercising regularly, the gums can improve. These things don't just improve your internal organs. Your entire well-being can improve. You'll also feel much better and will notice a huge difference in how your mouth feels when gum disease becomes a thing of the past.
You can stop
So if you're a smoker and you've had to deal with gum disease or afraid you are going to, go see your doctor to find the best quit smoking strategy for you. Also, be sure to embark on a good oral hygiene routine that includes brushing, flossing, using a mouthwash, and an oral balm. You'll notice results and can be proud that you're being proactive in helping your gums.
If gum disease is very severe, then professional remedies may be used. This includes scaling and root planing. These are things that you do not want to have to deal with. That is why it is important to examine your gums and do what you can as soon as you notice there is a problem.
If you have already had a problem for a while and it is severe, be sure to see your dentists as soon as possible. In the meantime, do what you can to improve the condition and make your mouth feel more comfortable.
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