Gum diseases, also known as periodontal diseases, are a common but often underestimated oral health concern that can have a significant impact on your overall well-being. While they can be stealthy and painless in their early stages, untreated gum diseases can lead to serious dental problems and even affect your general health. Understanding the basics of gum diseases, recognizing the signs and symptoms, and practicing good oral hygiene are essential for prevention and early intervention. However, you should also visit the best dental clinic in Abu Dhabi for more effective procedures.
Gum diseases: The basics
Gingivitis is the mildest and most common form of gum disease. It often begins with poor oral hygiene that allows plaque, a sticky film of bacteria, to accumulate on teeth and gums. Symptoms of gingivitis include redness, swelling, and bleeding of the gums, especially during brushing or flossing. Gingivitis is usually reversible with improved oral hygiene habits and regular dental cleanings.
If gingivitis is left untreated, it can progress into a more severe form known as periodontitis. In periodontitis, the inflammation spreads deeper into the supporting structures of the teeth, including the bone. This stage can cause pockets to form between the teeth and gums, which trap more plaque and bacteria. Symptoms of periodontitis include gum recession, pockets between teeth and gums, and bone loss. It can lead to tooth mobility and even tooth loss.
Causes of gum diseases:
The primary cause of gum diseases is the accumulation of plaque and tartar on teeth. However, other factors can contribute to the development and progression of these conditions. These include smoking, hormonal changes (e.g., pregnancy, menopause), certain medications, systemic diseases, genetics, and poor nutrition.
The best way to prevent gum diseases is through good oral hygiene practices. This includes regular and thorough brushing (at least twice a day), flossing daily to remove plaque between teeth, and visiting your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings. Avoiding smoking and maintaining a balanced diet can also play a significant role in prevention.
Early stages of gum diseases, such as gingivitis, are often reversible with improved oral care. In more advanced cases, treatment may involve deep cleaning procedures like scaling and root planing, which remove plaque and tartar from below the gumline. In severe cases, surgical procedures may be necessary to address gum and bone loss.