The statistics are quite alarming. Studies and researches indicate that more than 75% of the adults are afflicted with different forms of gum disease like gingivitis and periodontal disease. According to some researches, gum disease may also lead to an increased incidence of heart disease as well. Treatment for these diseases includes ensuring complete dental hygienealong with other precautions and procedures.
The main cause of any kind of gum disease is an inability to maintain proper dental hygiene. In the absence of regular brushing and flossing, food particles tend to get deposited in between the gums and teeth. Bacteria and other pathogens tend to thrive on these food remnants, which lead to tartar and plaque built up. This in turn causes an infection in the supporting bones and tissues, which leads to the onset of periodontal disease.
The two main stages of gum disease are:
1. Gingivitis: This is a milder form of the gum disease, which afflicts the gums. The basic symptoms of this disease are swollen, red gums that tend to bleed while brushing. This is a painless stage of the gum disease, which is why most people tend to ignore it or don’t even notice it.
2. Periodontis: When gingivitis is ignored, then it leads to Periodontis. Receding gums and formation of pockets around the teeth characterize this disease. Bacteria tend to thrive in these pockets and slowly eat away the supporting bone. The shrinking gums make the teeth appear longer. In the absence of timely periodontal disease treatment, the teeth tend to fall out or may even need to be pulled out to prevent further infection.
Some people are generally at a higher risk of contracting gum disease due to different reasons:
· Those who don’t maintain good dental hygiene
· People who smoke or chew tobacco
· Genetic factors i.e. incidence of gum disease in each generation
· Compromised immune system due to the presence of diseases like leukaemia, AIDS
· High stress levels
· Poor dietary habits