Do You Have Gum Disease?

Excerpt: Gum disease is a fairly common problem among the general population, depending on the stage of gum disease you’re in, it may not seem like an issue at all.

Table of Contents

Gum Disease Facts

  • Periodontitis is a more advanced form of gingivitis.
  • Gingivitis is one of the easier conditions to diagnosed, and can be reversed at home.
  • The best prevention method is having a higher standard of oral care.

Gum disease is a fairly common problem among the general population, depending on the stage of gum disease you’re in, it may not seem like an issue at all. Since the symptoms for gum disease show up fairly early on, it’s easy to stop and reverse if you’re paying attention to your mouth.

How many types of gum disease are there?

There are two distinctive stages of gum disease:

  • Gingivitis – Gums have been infected as a result of bacteria build-up.
  • Periodontitis – Infection has increased, teeth may also be loose as a result.
If it is just gingivitis that you are inflicted with, there is a good chance you can reverse it at home with out the use of a dentist. You may just need increased oral care, and possibly a temporary, or permanent change in diet. 

What caused my gum disease?

Plaque buildup on the teeth is a leading cause of gum disease. Plaque is a transparent sticky film, produced by the naturally-occurring bacteria in your mouth.
There are other contributing factors of gum disease:
  • Medication – Some medications can cause gingivitis or lead to an overgrowth of gum tissue.
  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Hormonal changes
  • Certain jewelry that contains heavy metals
  • Bismuth – An ingredient contained in some makeup
  • Viral or fungal infections
  • Dental impaction

How does plaque cause gum disease?

Your teeth grow down lower then the gum line, which is the point the gums attach to the teeth. When the plaque accumulates past a certain point, it will begin to extend below the gum line. Once the bacteria reaches this point, it’s difficult to fix at home. 
If this continues, it will cause:
  • Injuries to the teeth and bone structures.
  • Loosening of the teeth and other oral structures.
  • Tooth loss

What increases the risk of gum disease?

The following factors will increase your likelihood of getting gum disease:

  • Smoking (including marijuana) or other tobacco use.
  • Diabetes
  • Certain medications
  • Crooked or impacted teeth
  • Broken fillings
  • Pregnancy
  • Genetic factors
  • Medical conditions

When should I see a dentist about gingivitis?

If you begin to notice any signs of gingivitis, you should consider making an appointment, although, you can also adjust your habits and wait a week or two to see if the gingivitis goes away.
To reverse the gingivitis at home consider doing the following:
  • Better oral care – Brush for 2-3 minutes, floss, and use mouth wash twice a day, every day!
  • Quite smoking – This is a difficult goal to achieve, but it’s considerably worth it.
  • Change your diet – Eat less sugary foods which will decrease plaque build up
  • Drink more water – Saliva can help break down food, being dehydrated will limit your production.
  • Change your toothbrush – The bristles can get worn down which will make them less effective.
  • Be careful when you eat – Don’t eat after brushing your teeth before bed.

How Does A Deep Cleaning Help With Gingivitis?

If your gingivitis is advanced you should consider getting what is referred to as a “deep cleaning”. A deep cleaning is needed when the plaque builds up below the gum line and the gums are pushed up more than usual. Once the pockets increase in size, lots of negative symptoms will start to show, such as loosening teeth, receding gums, and more.
  • Teeth scaling – The tartar will be scraped from below the gum line.
  • Root planing – The gums will be smoothed back onto the teeth so they are more stable.

What is periodontitis?

Periodontitis is a more advanced form of gingivitis. There are 4 distinct stages of periodontitis:

4 Distinct Stages Of Gum Disease


Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease, the disease has yet to attack the bone. Since gingivitis is classified by the build-up of plaque. You will have a few warning signs to look out for, pay attention to your gums for any swelling, puffing, or bleeding.

Slight Periodontal Disease

If the infection has started to reach the bone, then you are in this stage. Once someone reaches this point, the disease is manageable even though it is irreversible.

Moderate Periodontal Disease

At this point, the bacteria has aggressively started to attack deeper parts of the bone and immune system by entering the bloodstream. The main treatment for this stage is deep cleaning which consists of root planing and tooth scaling.

Advanced Periodontal Disease

At this stage you are at risk of bone loss, the infection will be attacking even more vital areas. Advanced periodontal disease can also lead to gum recession, tooth loss, and maybe even partial or full dentures. If teeth are missing and the bone is compromised then dentures may not be an option for you.

How do you treat periodontitis?

It will depend on how advanced the periodontitis is, if it is advanced enough, you will probably be recommended to a specialist, known as a periodontist.

Frequently Asked Questions

You may just need to adjust your technique, or buy a brush with softer bristles. If your gums still bleed, then you should 

If the gingivitis symptoms last longer than a week or two, you should definitely consider an appointment.

If the gingivitis symptoms last longer than a week or two, you should definitely consider an appointment.

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