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Gum Disease (Gingivitis & Periodontitis): Causes, Stages, Symptoms and Treatment

What is Gum Disease

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, encompasses two main stages: gingivitis and
periodontitis. It’s a common condition that affects the tissues surrounding and supporting the
teeth. Here’s a breakdown of its causes, stages, symptoms, and treatment options:

Gum Disease Causes

Gum disease typically begins with poor oral hygiene that allows plaque—a sticky film of bacteria—to build up on teeth. Over time, the bacteria in plaque can cause inflammation and infection. Other factors contributing to gum disease include:

Stages of Gum Disease

Gum Infection Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of gum disease can vary depending on the stage, but common indicators include:

Gingivitis:

  • Red, swollen gums
  • Tender or bleeding gums, especially during brushing or flossing
  • Bad breath (halitosis)
  • Receding gums

Periodontitis:

  • Pockets forming between teeth and gums
  • Changes in bite or the way teeth fit together
  • Loose teeth
  • Pus between gums and teeth
  • Persistent bad breath or bad taste in the mouth

Gum Disease Treatment

The treatment for gum disease depends on the severity of the condition:

Gingivitis Treatment:

  • Improved oral hygiene: Regular brushing and flossing to remove plaque.
  • Professional cleaning: Scaling and root planning to remove tartar and smooth the
    tooth root surfaces.

Periodontitis Treatment:

  • Scaling and root planing: Deep cleaning to remove plaque and tartar from deep
    pockets around the teeth.
  • Medications: Antibiotics or antimicrobial mouth rinses to control infection.
  • Surgical treatments: Flap surgery or bone and tissue grafts to regenerate lost bone
    and tissue.

Gum Disease Prevention

Preventing gum disease involves maintaining good oral hygiene practices:

Early detection and prompt treatment are crucial for managing gum disease effectively and preventing its progression to more severe stages. If you suspect you have gum disease or notice any symptoms, consult your dentist for proper evaluation and treatment.

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