Gum Disease
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Bleeding Gums? Bad Breath? Sensitive Teeth? Receding Gums?

We will help you win the war against gum disease.

What is gum disease?

Gum disease affects most people at some time during their life.

It is usually caused by a build-up of plaque on our teeth. Plaque is a collection of millions of bacteria that cause an infection.

The body fights this infection and destroys the gum tissue and ultimately the bone that supports your gums.

Once the bone is lost you lose your teeth.

What are the signs and symptoms of gum disease?

  • One of the common signs of gum disease is bleeding gums.
  • Swollen gums, toothache, pus extruding from gums, receding gums, bad breath, loose teeth are all other signs of gum disease and gum infection.

Meticulous cleaning of teeth each day can help prevent gum disease. However it the disease has progressed you need to be seen by us to make sure we can help prevent further destruction.

How do you get swollen gums?

When bacteria produce the toxin that destroys gums, the body responds by sending our own body’s defence cells to attack the toxin.

This leads to collection of fluid under the gums leading to swollen gums.

What about sore gums?

When the fluid collects under the gums, after the attack from the bacteria and our defence cells, this leads to pressure building up in the tissues.

This process is called inflammation and leads to sore gums.

The different stages of gum disease

Gum disease evolves with time if it has not been taken care of.

With time there is an increase in the destruction of the gum tissue and bone leading to more serious issues.
  • Gum Disease - Gingivitis

Severe dental pain can be the result of bacteria attacking the roots of your teeth. If the decay has not yet destroyed the surrounding gums and bone, then the tooth can be saved with a root canal treatment.

In this treatment we will remove the dead nerves and infected pus, disinfect the area, and then fill it in with a special filling, to protect the teeth from bacteria.

  • Gum Disease - Periodontitis
Gum Disease – Periodontitis Periodontitis is advanced gum disease that occurs if gingivitis is not treated.

The gum margin that seals to the tooth is weakened, allowing bacteria and their products to cause more inflammation in the structures below the gum margin.

These structures include the covering of the tooth root (cementum), the bone, and the fibres that connect the cementum to the bone (periodontal ligament).

As the disease destroys these structures, spaces form between the tooth and the gum, as the bone is lost.

These spaces are called ‘periodontal pockets’. Further signs of periodontitis include bleeding, swelling and receding gums together with bad breath, a bad taste in the mouth and loose teeth.

How does loose teeth come into play?

Normal, Healthy Gingiva (Gums)

Healthy gums and bone anchor teeth firmly in place.

Gingivitis

Plaque and its byproducts irritate the gums, making them tender, inflamed, and likely to bleed.

Periodontitis

Unremoved, plaque hardens into calculus (tartar). As Plaque and calculus continue to build up, the gums begin to recede (pull away) from the teeth, and pockets from between the teeth and gums.

Advanced Periodontitis

The gums recede farther, destroying more bone and the periodontal ligament. Teeth-even healthy teeth-may become loose and need to be extracted

Causes of Periodontal Disease

The main cause of periodontal disease is bacterial plaque, a sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth.

However, factors like the following also affect the health of your gums.
  • 1. Gum Disease due to Smoking/Tobacco Use
Smoking leads to closure of micro blood vessels that transport essential oxygen to tissues so the gum can heal and survive.

Therefore if these blood vessels are closed then there is no nutrients or oxygen reaching the tissues. This causes the gum tissue to die and ultimately lead to loss of teeth.
  • 2. Genetics
Research proves that up to 30% of the population may be genetically susceptible to gum disease.
  • 3. Pregnancy and Puberty
Changes in hormones during pregnancy can lead to an increased response to bacteria leading to swelling and bleeding of gums.
  • 4. Stress
As you probably already know, stress is linked to many serious conditions such as hypertension, cancer, and numerous other health problems.

Stress is also a risk factor for periodontal disease.
  • 5. Medications
Some drugs, such as oral contraceptives, anti-depressants, and certain heart medicines, can lead to an increased response to gum disease leading to swelling and bleeding of the gums.
  • 6. Clenching or Grinding Your Teeth
Clenching or grinding your teeth can put excess force on the supporting tissues of the teeth and could speed up the rate at which these periodontal tissues are destroyed.
  • 7. Diabetes
Diabetes is a disease that causes altered levels of sugar in the blood. If you are diabetic, you are at higher risk for developing infections, including periodontal diseases.

These infections can impair the ability to process and/or utilize insulin, which may cause your diabetes to be more difficult to control and your infection to be more severe than a non-diabetic.
  • 8. Poor Nutrition
A diet low in important nutrients can compromise the body’s immune system and make it harder for the body to fight off infection. Because periodontal disease is a serious infection, poor nutrition can worsen the condition of your gums.
  • 9. Other Systemic Diseases
Diseases that interfere with the body’s immune system may worsen the condition of the gums.

Take the Step.

Call Smile Concepts Today.

A Smile can open doors and change lives.

  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr Manish Shah

BDS (Hons), MBBS, MMED (Sleep Med)

Dr. Manish Shah is a cometic dentist with a special interest in porcelain veneers, dental implants and Invisalign. He is also a medical doctor with an expertise in sleep & craniofacial pain medicine practising at Smile Concepts.

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