Oral problems are quite common health concerns that can affect anyone. Among them, we find, in particular, gum problems (or “periodontal diseases”). Caused by poor oral hygiene, a foreign body, or even a bacterial infection, these worries have common symptoms: pain, redness, swelling, etc. To go in detail, here are the different kinds of gum disease:
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For starters, gingivitis is one of the most common among the possible causes of red and sore gums. It is an inflammation of the gums, usually caused by a buildup of tartar. When this forms dental plaque at the gum line (between the tooth and the gum), the gum gradually becomes irritated, and bacteria proliferate. This double effect causes inflammation, responsible for redness, swelling, and pain.
As a result, the gums affected by gingivitis become much more sensitive. Eating can then be painful, as can contact with hot and cold. Also, they tend to bleed more easily while brushing their teeth.
Besides, gingivitis is mainly due to poor oral hygiene. You should, therefore, brush your teeth carefully and regularly. Regular dental scaling is also essential to prevent plaque buildup.
Other elements can also promote gingivitis: alcohol, tobacco, certain medications, hormonal imbalances, poor positioning of a dental prosthesis, etc. To treat gingivitis effectively, you must therefore remove or reduce the effect of these other possible causes.
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Then, when the gingivitis gets worse, it turns into periodontitis. This other gum disease is a more severe condition, as it also spreads to the jawbone and the related tissues that support teething. Specifically, periodontitis affects the periodontium, hence its name.
In practice, this gum disease begins with gingivitis. After a particular stage of inflammation, pockets gradually form between the tooth and the gum. They then accumulate dental plaque, food, and especially bacteria. There are two types:
- Chronic periodontitis: It is when the disease progresses slowly or at moderate speed. Often occurring over several years, this inflammation potentially has adverse effects throughout the body.
- Aggressive periodontitis: This is more sudden and develops rapidly (generalized or localized). Instead, it occurs in adolescents or under the 30s.
Most often, periodontitis occurs when the immune system is weakened and fails to stop bacterial growth. It is mainly the case in patients with cancer, diabetes, or HIV.
Finally, if periodontitis is not treated in time, it will worsen and turn into advanced periodontitis. At this point, the affected bone and tissue will destroy itself. It will lead to displacements of the teeth, loosening, or even falling teeth.
In addition to inconvenience in eating and the unsightly appearance, these effects are hazardous for your health. The inflammation associated with advanced periodontitis can spread to other parts of the body, such as the airways. In particular, it increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
If you have symptoms corresponding to some of these gum diseases, it is best to see a dentist right away. Indeed, if you do not treat your health concern quickly, it may worsen and even spread to the rest of your mouth, or even your body.
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