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Gum diseases are often visible as inflamed or infected gums. Gingivitis (the inflammation of the gums) and Periodontitis (inflammation of the bone and tissues of the teeth) are the common types of gum disease. Bacteria are often the cause, which often forms into plaques and tartar when one doesn’t practice good oral hygiene.
Mild gum disease or gingivitis is often caused by built of plaque and tartar and is often manifested through swelling and reddening of the gums. The gums usually bleed when tooth brushing and a little pain in the gums is felt. It could usually be prevented with regular tooth brushing and flossing. Gingivitis is often seen as the first stage of severe gum disease and could lead to periodontitis if not prevented.
Periodontitis, on the other hand, is often more serious. Periodontal disease happens when gingivitis becomes worse and affects the tissue that joins the teeth to the gums (the periodontium) and also the bone supporting the teeth. A gap or a pocket usually form between the tooth and the gum, and since these are deeper pockets, normal brushing and cleaning will not treat the disease.
Aside from the swelling and the usual bleeding of the gums during cleaning, severe gum disease symptoms often include the following:
Affected teeth will become frail and eventually, they will fall out. Since even the ligaments and the bones are destroyed, they will no longer grow back. This could even lead to successive loss of teeth.
Aside from poor oral hygiene, gum disease may also be caused by the following:
Since periodontitis can’t be cured by just simply brushing, one should seek medical help. Periodontists are experts who specialize in treating (both surgical and non-surgical) periodontal diseases and in replacing missing teeth with dental implants.
Dental treatment procedures may start with diagnosis. This is done through clinical examination. The dentist may use a tiny ruler called “probe” to check for and measure pockets. (Pockets of a healthy mouth are usually between 1 and 3 millimeters). This test is painless. The dentist may also ask for a dental x-ray to check out the severity of bone loss. Severe cases are usually referred to as periodontists.
The periodontist then, whose main goal is to control infection, may perform a non-surgical treatment, gum graft surgery, laser treatment, regenerative procedures, dental crown lengthening, dental implants, pocket reduction procedures and or plastic surgery procedures.