Gum Disease

Also called: Periodontal disease

If you have gum disease, you're not alone. Many U.S. adults currently have some form of the disease. It ranges from simple gum inflammation, called gingivitis, to serious damage to the tissue and bone supporting the teeth. In the worst cases, you can lose teeth.

In gingivitis, the gums become red and swollen. They can bleed easily. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease. You can usually reverse it with daily brushing and flossing and regular cleanings by a dentist or dental hygienist. Untreated gingivitis can lead to periodontitis. If you have periodontitis, the gums pull away from the teeth and form pockets that become infected. If not treated, the bones, gums and connective tissue that support the teeth are destroyed.

NIH: National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research

Symptoms of Gum Disease

The following features are indicative of Gum Disease:
  • bad breath
  • red or swollen gums
  • tender or bleeding gums
  • painful chewing
  • loose teeth
  • sensitive teeth
  • receding gums
It is possible that Gum Disease shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Gum Disease

The following are the most common causes of Gum Disease:
  • plaque on teeth
  • unhealthy diet
  • tobacco use
  • harmful alcohol use

Risk Factors for Gum Disease

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Gum Disease:
  • smoking
  • hormonal changes in girls/women
  • diabetes
  • AIDS and its treatments
  • genetic susceptibility

Prevention of Gum Disease

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Gum Disease. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • brush the teeth twice a day
  • floss regularly to remove plaque from teeth
  • visit the dentist routinely for a check-up
  • don’t smoke

Occurrence of Gum Disease

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Gum Disease cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Gum Disease can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Gum Disease can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Gum Disease

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Gum Disease:
  • X-Ray: To see whether there is any bone loss

Doctor for Diagnosis of Gum Disease

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Gum Disease:
  • Dentist
  • Periodontist

Complications of Gum Disease if untreated

Yes, Gum Disease causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Gum Disease is left untreated:
  • destroy bones
  • destroy gums
  • destroy tissues that support the teeth

Procedures for Treatment of Gum Disease

The following procedures are used to treat Gum Disease:
  • Flap Surgery: Removes tartar deposits in deep pockets
  • Bone and Tissue Grafts: Allowing the bone and connective tissue to regrow

Self-care for Gum Disease

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Gum Disease:
  • Brush teeth twice a day: Gives healthy gum
  • Floss regularly: Reduces the chances of getting cavity in teeth
  • Visit the dentist routinely: Helps in keeping a check on your gum health
  • Don't smoke: Avoid smoking keeps your gum healthy

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Gum Disease

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Gum Disease:
  • Apply antimicrobial solutions: Reduces infections and inflammation

Time for Treatment of Gum Disease

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Gum Disease to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • More than 1 year

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Gum Disease.

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