Gum Disease – Gingivitis & Periodontal Disease

Periodontitis, also known as gum disease or periodontal disease, develops with bacterial growth inside your mouth. It can be cured with proper treatment. A Gum disease often leads to early tooth loss due to the destruction of the tissue in the area surrounding your teeth. [source: Webmd]

What Is the Main Difference Between Gingivitis and Periodontitis

Gingivitis refers to gum inflammation which often precedes periodontitis/gum disease. We must acknowledge that not all gingivitis develops into periodontitis.

The Early Stage of Gingivitis

At this sage, bacteria in plaque build up, causing gum inflammation. If you bleed while tooth brushing, it may be identified as a symptom of Gingivitis. In this case,  you must consult with a periodontist. You will experience irritation in your gums, but your teeth are still firmly planted. There is no irreversible damage to the bones or any tissue at this stage.

The Later Stage of Gingivitis

An untreated Gingivitis grows into periodontitis.  At this stage, the inner layer of the gum and bone move away from the teeth, creating pockets between your teeth and gums.  Debris collected in the pockets causes infection. Meanwhile, the plaque spreads and grows below the gum line. Toxins or poisons producing bacteria in plaque and “good” enzymes involved in fighting infections, destroys the bone and connective tissue responsible for keeping the teeth intact. As the disease grows, the pockets get deeper, destroying more gum tissue and bone. Nothing can be done at this stage. At this time, your teeth are no longer in place, they loosen until they fall. Studies show that Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.

What Causes Gum Disease?

Plaque is the primary cause of gum disease. However, there are other factors contributing to the development of periodontal disease. These may include:

  • Hormonal changes in women make your gums more sensitive, for example, changes occurring during:
    • pregnancy,
    • puberty,
    • menopause,
    • monthly menstruation cycles,

Such Hormonal changes make it easier for gingivitis to develop.

  • Various Illnesses may affect the condition of your gums, for example, diseases that interfere with the immune system such as:
    • cancer
    • HIV.
  • Diabetes patients are at a higher risk of infections, including periodontal disease and cavities.
  • Medications reduce the flow of saliva, which protects the effect on teeth and gums. Some drugs can cause abnormal growth of gum tissue, such as
    • anticonvulsant medication,
    • Dilantin and the anti-angina drug,
    • Procardia,
    • Adalat.
  • Bad habits such as smoking make it difficult for gum tissue to repair.
  • Bad oral hygiene habits such as failing to brush and floss regularly.
  • The family history of gum disease

What Are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?

Gum disease may progress painlessly without a warning sign.

  • bleeding gums during and after brushing your teeth
  • Swollen gums,
  • Redness in gums
  • Soft gums
  • Bad breath
  • Constant Bad taste in the mouth
  • Receding Gums
  • Deep pockets between teeth and gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Shifting teeth
  • Teeth fit together differently when biting down

Even if there are no noticeable symptoms, you may still have gum disease affecting all or some of the teeth, for example, the molars. A periodontist in Dubai can recognize and determine the progression of gum disease like gingivitis.

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