Gum disease is surprisingly prevalent, and the reasons are obvious when you study the oral hygiene habits of the majority of any population. Although dentists regularly advise, admonish and even plead with their patients to take care of their gums, teeth and tongue, not many people pay heed to hygiene regimes. The result of this is poor oral health, often in the form of gum disease in all its forms.
What are the Types of Gum Disease?
There are essentially three categories of disease that affect the gums in humans. These are:
1. Irritated gums: This condition is usually caused by residual food particles stuck between the teeth after eating. Chronic conditions may call for flushing or deep cleaning, but the situation can be avoided by brushing within 20 minutes of a meal. This will ensure that all residual food is removed, and the risk of gum infection and teeth erosion is reduced.
2. Abscesses and Cavities: This moderate form of infection is harmful, as it can lead to long-term damage if left untreated. An untreated cavity can lead to an abscess, which is exacerbated by the gums being irritated in the process.
3. Gingivitis and Periodontitis: These two forms – one moderate and the other severe – are both related to bacterial infection; both are reversible, but this primarily depends on how severe the condition is to begin with.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
There are several symptoms that can be noticed when gum disease strikes, and these include:
1. Tenderness and inflammation of the gums at the gum line
2. Pain in the gums or the teeth around the affected area
4. Halitosis (bad breath)
5. Sensitivity while chewing
If any of these symptoms are noticed, a visit to the dentist is in order. However, most people tend to think that minor problems will go away. While this is true in certain cases, it is definitely not worth the risk because it can lead to a worsening of the problem, or complications that can affect other parts of the mouth.
What Causes Gum Disease?
The primary cause of gum disease is poor oral hygiene, and the resulting bacterial action on the gums and teeth; however, there are a few others that can be addressed before they become cause for concern:
1. Irregular dentist visits
2. Consuming excessive amounts of sugared and carbonated beverages
3. Eating foods that tend to get stuck between the teeth, and not flushing, flossing or brushing after consuming such foods
5 Best Treatments for Gum Disease
1. Probiotics: Available in the form of lozenges, these ‘good bacteria’ help restore the micro-flora balance in the mouth, especially after using a mouth-wash or a rinse.
2. Ubiquinone: Also known as Co-Enzyme Q10, this is a vitamin-like compound and is taken as a supplement. Studies have shown that this compound could help in the fight against gum disease, as a preventive measure.
3. Peroxide Rinses: This compound acts be releasing oxygen rapidly, which in turn can help reduce inflammation and infection in the gums.
4. Chlorhexidine Sprays: These sprays contain the powerful Chlorhexidine, a proven anti-bacterial agent that can also fight plaque formation and acts immediately on contact, even staying on as a residue for continued protection.
5. Hyaluronic Acid Gel: This compound aids in the production of new tissue to replace diseased cells in the mouth. German scientists have found that it can increase healing rate by up to 50%.
These treatments are primarily for prevention, but some are used as external treatment for gum disease. The best preventive measure, however, is proper dental and oral hygiene. There is no measure more effective than this.
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