The science that deals with the surrounding tissues of the teeth and the problems in these tissues is called "periodontology". Inflammatory diseases that occur in the gums around the teeth are known as "periodontal diseases". For a complete oral health, the hygiene of the gums, which is the basis of the teeth, is very important. If the diseases that occur in the gums are not taken seriously, both the general oral comfort and dental health may be at risk and unwanted tooth loss may occur. For this reason, it is necessary to treat gum diseases in a timely manner and to prevent them at an early stage.
What are Gum Diseases?
Gum diseases are infectious conditions that occur in the tissues around the teeth and can be observed in people of all ages. Gum diseases, which can occur even if there is no tooth decay, are usually caused by the lack of attention to oral care and hygiene. If left untreated, it can cause problems such as bad breath, bleeding gums and even tooth loss. Gum problems, which are mostly painless, can develop in many different ways:
They are diseases in which the gums are affected by infection. Bleeding redness or swelling occurs in the gums, sometimes bad breath is felt. Untreated gingivitis may progress over time and turn into periodontitis.
Periodontitis, also known as gingival recession, is an advanced gingival problem that affects the jawbone and periodontal fibers as well as the gums. In such cases, spaces called “periodontal pockets” are formed between the teeth and gums, which are suitable for bacteria to settle easily. With the formation of pockets, the progression of the disease accelerates and the losses in the supporting tissues increase. As a result, the teeth begin to wobble and become weak, and in more advanced stages, the teeth may need to be extracted.
Other gingival diseases that can develop in the form of gingival and periodontal abscesses impair oral comfort and cause difficulties in functions such as eating, drinking and speaking.
What Causes Gum Diseases?
The primary cause of periodontal diseases is the lack of attention to oral hygiene and care. As a result of many factors such as smoking and malnutrition, the formation of bacterial plaque in the mouth increases and various gum diseases are triggered. Such problems can also be caused by various drugs used, systematic diseases or stress. For this reason, oral hygiene should be given due importance to minimize the risk of complications, especially in the presence of conditions that trigger gum diseases.
It should be known that the risk of gum disease increases in the presence of the following conditions:
- In addition to its general harm, smoking is also harmful to gum health and can cause inflammatory infections due to the chemicals in it.
- Periods when hormone balance is disrupted, such as puberty, pregnancy and menopause, also affect the gingival tissue, and an increase in the formation of microorganisms is observed during these periods.
- Systemic disorders such as diabetes can cause problems such as dry mouth and loss of tongue taste buds. This may increase the severity of periodontitis.
- Diseases that affect the defense mechanism, such as leukemia and AIDS, also negatively affect gingival health and may lead to the progression of existing problems. In these periods, when the body is generally open to infection and the immune system is weakened, extra vigilance should be exercised against the risk of infection.
- Some drugs used may cause problems especially in the gums and may have negative effects on other tissues in the mouth and oral health.
- Stress, which is a risk factor for every disease, can exacerbate gum diseases as it makes it difficult to fight infections.
- As a result of inadequate and bad eating habits, the body's immune system weakens and this increases the risk of infection. Since periodontal diseases are also infectious diseases, they can be triggered by an unbalanced diet.
What are the Symptoms of Gum Diseases?
Although gum diseases develop differently, they usually give symptoms such as:
- Bleeding of the gums during tooth brushing or in normal condition
- Red, swollen and tender gums
- recession in gums
- Gums that separate and move away from the teeth
- bad breath
- swinging teeth
- Increased gaps between teeth
- Difficulties in the compatibility of the existing prosthesis
In the presence of the above findings, it is necessary to consult a specialist dentist and pay attention to oral hygiene in order to treat gingival diseases. Otherwise, permanent tooth loss may occur if the situation is not taken under control.
How Are Gum Diseases Treated?
The treatment of gum diseases differs according to the problem and stage of the person. In addition, the main purpose of these treatments, which are shaped according to the affected tissue, is to eliminate the existing infection in the mouth and to ensure the removal of bacteria. In the treatment of gingival diseases, dental scaling and plaque removal processes applied with the help of ultrasonic devices are usually prioritized. With the cleaning process, unhealthy organisms are removed from the mouth, and then the tooth surfaces are polished to make them smooth and bright. In this way, general cleaning is provided on the teeth and existing stains and scars are removed. The level of infection in the person affects the rate of anesthesia to be given before the application. In some cases, it may be necessary to clean the root surfaces of the gingival pockets, and in such cases a more in-depth study is performed.
It is important to maintain this environment after the mouth is cleaned properly, otherwise previous problems may be observed again. For this reason, it is extremely important to pay attention to oral hygiene and care in order to prevent the recurrence of gum diseases. By providing daily oral care as required, the risk of infection is eliminated and oral hygiene can be maintained for a long time.