Know About Periodontal Diseases (Gum Diseases)


Gum or periodontal disease is an inflammatory condition affecting the gums and bone surrounding your teeth. If left untreated, it can destroy your gum tissue over time and lead to various oral health problems. Gum diseases are the major cause of tooth loss in adults.

Gum diseases are preventable and treatable if discovered early.

Warning Signs of Gum Diseases

Gum disease can occur at any age, but it is most common among adults. The early stages of gum disease are pain-free, so you may not be aware of any symptoms.

Warning signs of gum disease include,

  • Red, swollen, tender gums
  • Bleeding from gums
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Receded gums (Teeth look longer)
  • Loose or separated teeth
  • Change in the way teeth fit together while biting
  • Pus discharge between your teeth and gums
  • Change in the fitting of partial dentures

Visit your dentist if you have swollen, bleeding, or painful gums.

What are the causes of Gum Disease?

Plaque is a film of bacteria that attaches to teeth and gums. The primary cause of the periodontal disease is bacteria in the plaque accumulating along the gum line. This causes inflammation and bleeding and destroys your gum and bone tissue.

Other causes include:

  • Poor oral hygiene habits
  • Illness (such as cancer, HIV, or diabetes)
  • Smoking
  • Genetics
  • Medication
  • Hormonal changes due to menstruation, pregnancy, or the menopause

Risk Factors for Gum Diseases

Certain factors put you at higher risk of getting severe gum disease:

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes (especially if poorly controlled)
  • Stress
  • Pregnancy
  • Crooked teeth
  • Old fillings
  • Certain illnesses and medications which affect the body’s immune system

Diagnosis of Gum Diseases

  • Your dentist will examine your gums and look for signs of inflammation
  • Ask your medical history to identify risk factors causing the inflammation of gums
  • Your dentist may perform probing to check for inflammation and measure pocket depth (gap between your teeth and the gum)
  • Your dentist may also order X-rays to check for bone loss

Treatment for Gum Diseases

Treatment for gum disease will depend on the severity and your body’s response to the treatment.

In mild cases,

  • Good oral hygiene practices
  • Scaling

In advanced cases,

  • Antibiotics
  • Scaling and root planning – To remove plaque and restore healthy gum tissue
  • Flap surgery – Gums are separated from the teeth to remove the infection
  • Bone grafting – Artificial bone is used to replace bone loss around the teeth

Gum diseases are common, but they only improve with improved oral hygiene and professional dental care.

Helpful Tips to Prevent Gum Diseases

You can keep your gums and teeth healthy by,

  • Brushing twice daily with fluoridated toothpaste
  • Regular flossing to remove plaque from between teeth
  • Avoiding smoking
  • Routine dental check-ups and professional cleaning
  • If you have diabetes, ensure that it is under control

The finest way to prevent gum disease is to visit the dentist regularly, brush twice daily, and floss once daily.