Gums are supporting structures around our teeth. Any infection or inflammation to the gums affects the strength of our teeth as well as our general health. Hence, it is very important to maintain the hygiene and health of gums. If you have any gum disease, it’s always better to treat it at the earliest.
What are the Types of gum diseases and what are their symptoms?
The most common gum disease is gingivitis
It often presents as bleeding on brushing and reddish or swollen gums. It is mainly due to the presence of calculus (hardened plaque) between teeth and gums. This may result in bad odour of mouth.
An advanced stage of gingivitis, called periodontitis is the next gum disease. In this case, there is gum and bone loss too. Gums become swollen or the margin of gums deepen. You will feel that the teeth has become longer.
It is actually the loss of gums. The inner side of the gums which attach to the teeth may also deepen (attachment becomes lesser) making the tooth loose. When the teeth become loose, the treatment also becomes more complicated than that of gingivitis.
Periodontitis can be of two types.
It can either be aggressive or generalized. Generalized periodontitis often occurs in persons with poor oral hygiene or elderly patients or people with other diseases like diabetes. It is mainly due to the presence of Calculus or hardened plaque. The aggressive type occurs in relatively younger people. Although the exact cause of this is still unknown, it is believed to be due to the presence of certain bacteria or problems with your immunity and genetics.
There are chances that you may get a gum infection. This may appear as a small painful bump on the gums. This bump contains pus. It is called a gum abscess or periodontal abscess.
Painful oral ulcers’ can occur in the gums also due to a deficiency of vitamin B12, iron or folic acid. It can also be due to stress, injury, etc.
The last one is a comparatively rare, yet dangerous disease. You should be careful if any nonhealing ulcer (often painless) occurs in your gums or any other part of your mouth. It may indicate oral cancer.
Treatment options for gum disease
Prevention is always better than cure.
Maintaining proper oral hygiene by brushing and flossing regularly is the key to avoiding gum diseases. If you have calculus on your teeth, you need a treatment called scaling. It will cost anywhere around Rs. 700-1500 (may be more or lesser according to the amount of calculus).
If the calculus is deeper, you may need deep cleaning, procedures to clean the root of your teeth and the surrounding area. It will cost more and the estimated amount can be said only after consulting with your dentist.
Severe cases like the ones with loose tooth may need surgery.
A part of your gum will be incised and raised, the inner side(bone and tissue) cleaned and fitted (stitched) around the teeth so that the teeth will then have good support. In some cases where bone destruction is there, bone grafts or other materials are placed to recreate the lost bone contour.
Antibiotics and painkillers may be given after surgery.
Inform your doctor if you have any systemic disorder (any disease like heart disease, diabetes, etc.) so that they can alter the medication and plan surgery accordingly.
The rates of the surgical procedures can be estimated only after consultation as each treatment is customized as per the patient’s condition and the number of teeth involved.
- Gum health is linked to the general health of your body.
- Have regular checkups and get your teeth and gums cleaned by a professional.
- Home care plays a very important part in gum health. Follow good oral health regime.
FAQs on gum diseases
It may take a few days to a few weeks to heal, depending on the type of treatment and whether you have other diseases.
Brush your teeth twice a day using a soft toothbrush (replace it every three months or when the bristles are out of shape) and floss daily.
Consider using an electronic toothbrush, which is more effective than manual brush at removing plaque.
Use mouthwash as recommended by your dentist.
Do not use tobacco products.
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