When doctors talk about healthy teeth, many patients understand this very narrowly. They focus directly on those protruding bone formations covered with white enamel, which are commonly called teeth. However, the well-being of teeth is unthinkable without healthy gums. Therefore, dentistry pays no less attention to gum treatment than to the prevention of diseases and the restoration of a healthy state of the teeth themselves.
How to Know That Your Gums Need Help
Healthy gums look amazing and feel fresh and firm. A person does not feel any discomfort in the oral cavity or an unpleasant odor. However, the danger of gum disease is that, for a long time, a person may not understand that bacteria colonies have already begun to intensively habitate in those places in the mouth that are difficult to clean. This is primarily the junction of the gums and the teeth located in them. Knowledge of this problem comes quite late, when obvious symptoms of diseases begin to appear:
- Redness and bleeding of the gums;
- Discomfort while brushing your teeth;
- Slight irritability of the gums when taking spicy, hard, hot, cold, and other atypical foods;
- The strong unpleasant sulfurous odor from the mouth;
- Gum recession, in which the lower part of the tooth is exposed, and the gum seems to become less dense.
Noticing any of these symptoms, you need to urgently go to the periodontist. And it is even better to visit a doctor regularly without waiting for acute manifestations to know that everything is alright with your teeth and gums.
Stages of Destruction of the Gums
Healthy gums perform an essential protective function of teeth, keeping them stable and preventing harmful agents such as viruses, bacteria, etc. from getting inside. However, with improper dental care, their resistance to these pests weakens. If additional measures are not taken in time to help strengthen the gums, they may lose this battle with bacteria. And then, the result is an inability to perform their main function — to hold and protect the teeth. In general, this process of destruction of gum tissue goes through several stages.
The first stage of gum disease is the easiest, and if you go to the dentist at this point, getting rid of the problem is also not difficult. Moreover, the body actively begins to signal to a person that their gums have been subjected to intense exposure to active bacteria.
How Gingivitis Occurs
- The gum is attached to the tooth with the help of certain ligaments, which act as a shock absorber during chewing.
- Near the very neck of the tooth, there is a very narrow pocket filled with connective tissue, which is less than 1 mm.
- With poor-quality dental care, severe infections, vitamin deficiencies, and other provocative factors, gums begin to swell and blush. They may exude an unpleasant smell.
However, the connective tissue with the tooth is not yet destroyed. This stage of inflammation of the gums is called gingivitis. With quick and proper treatment, you can quite quickly restore the healthy state of gums and keep the connective tissue strong and invulnerable.
If you miss the right moment and do not pay attention to the symptoms, the connective tissue between the gum epithelium and the tooth begins to collapse under the onslaught of bacteria. In this case, the inflamed gum moves away from the tooth, and a significant gap is formed, which does not allow the gum to hold the tooth tightly in its pocket. Moreover, tooth tartar or calculus can form on the enamel in the form of a dense dark plaque, which leads to
- gum recession
- periodontal disease
If the patient does not respond to symptoms even in more acute forms of gum disease, the final result is loosening and loss of teeth.
Symptoms of Periodontitis
The manifestation of gum disease in this second stage is the same as with gingivitis but is more pronounced:
- Bleeding gums at the slightest contact with a toothbrush or hard food;
- Spontaneous pain;
- Swelling and redness;
- Rotten breath;
- Exposure of the base of the teeth and the appearance of the neck of the tooth in the form of a narrow horizontal strip.
If the infection is not stopped in time, then the reproduction of microorganisms increases exponentially, and they penetrate deeper and deeper between the gum and the tooth wall. Not only are the connective and gum tissues destroyed but also the jawbone into which the tooth is placed. Treatment, in this case, is very long, laborious, and expensive and also gives less chance of saving the tooth. Therefore, it is better not to wait until this stage to contact a periodontist.
How to Avoid the Negative Scenario of Gum Inflammation
- The ideal option is regular dental examinations at a professional clinic and taking preventive measures. They are aimed at removing plaque from the teeth with the help of a specialist. That plaque is impossible to eliminate during daily brushing.
- If you went to the doctor at the moment when the inflammatory processes are already running, you may be advised to undergo a non-surgical or surgical treatment to stop the disease and restore healthy gums.
- Treatment is prescribed after X-ray diagnostics, which helps determine the severity of the disease.
- In non-surgical treatment, you will be prescribed a deep cleaning of the surface of the teeth from plaque and anti-inflammatory therapy.
- Drug treatment involves the local application of ointments to inflamed areas, as well as taking a course of oral medications and increasing immunity with the help of vitamins.
- With surgical intrusion, the patient may be proposed to replace part of the tissue or even bone.
By contacting a periodontist in a timely manner, you not only get rid of dangerous processes that destroy your gums and teeth but also significantly save on the cost of dental services. Therefore, regular prophylaxis once every six months will be the best solution, even if your gums look perfectly healthy. If the first symptoms of gingivitis have already appeared, you should seek help immediately to help your teeth and gums win this fight with bacteria together with experienced specialists.