Gums or gingiva are the part of soft tissue lining that surrounds the teeth and provide a seal around them. The colour of healthy gums is usually coral pink which sometimes naturally turns into dark colour because of melanin pigmentation.


Gum diseases: Gum diseases, also known as periodontal diseases are the diseases which mainly involve the supporting structure of the teeth i.e gums. Gum inflammation is also called periodontitis or gingivitis.
There are three stages of gingivitis:
Early stage gingivitis: Mildest form of periodontal disease is called gingivitis. It is characterised by redness and swelling of the gums.
Mild to moderate periodontitis: Bleeding occur into the gums around the teeth.
Advanced periodontitis: Advanced stage of periodontitis involve the destruction of bones that hold the teeth into the place.

Types of Gum disease:

• Dental plaque induced gingivitis
• Special bacterial origin gum diseases
• Viral origin
• Fungal origin
• Genetic origin

Risk factors for gum diseases:

Factors that affect the healthy gums are:
• Old age
• Genetic causes
• Cigarette smoking/Tobacco use
Medications: Medications like antidepressent, contraceptives and heart medicines can cause gum diseases.
• Clenching or grinding the teeth
• Stress
• Poor nutrition and unhealthy eating habits

Symptoms of gum diseases

• Swelling of the gums
• Pain and tenderness into the gums
• Pus formation between gums and teeth
• Mouth sores
• Bad breath
• Receding gums that pull away from the teeth
• Sensitive and loose teeth
• Bleeding: Bleeding usually occurs while brushing and eating something hard.
Gum diseases may also involves the symptoms not listed here. Sometime symptoms may not appear until the disease reaches into an advanced stage. A regular checkup is necessary to prevent gum diseases.

Prevention from gum diseases

Correct brushing and flossing habits are necessary to prevent the various type of gum diseases. Healthy brushing habits include brushing and flossing twice a day, brushing after every meal, using a soft brush and toothpaste, flossing with gentle care as the flossing remove the remaining food particles from the teeth.
Healthy eating habits:
Avoid sticky sweets like candies, chocolates, pastries etc or rinse the mouth after having these kinds of eatables. Add calcium-rich food to your daily diet such as milk, cheese, yoghurt etc. Chew sugar free brands of the chweing gums. Use mouthwashes to prevent plaque formation.


Non-surgical treatments for gum diseases:

Professional dental cleaning: Proper dental cleaning by a dentist can resolve many of the dental problems. The dentist will clean the plaque in a gentle way,however dental cleaning is not a permanent solution for active dental diseases but it can be a preventive measure.
Scaling and root planning: Plaque formation is scraped away (scaling) and roots are made smooth (planing) by this non-surgical procedure.
Tooth brushing and dental flossing: These are the other non-surgical preventive measures to avoid gum related problems.

Surgical treatments for gum diseases:

Flap surgery or pocket reduction surgery: In this procedure, tartar is removed by lifting the gums back. Tartar is rough and porous, forms above and below the gum line.
Bone grafts: A destroyed bone is replaced by either a synthetic bone or a donated bone in order to regrowth of the destroyed bone.
Soft tissue grafts: Tissues are taken from the roof of the mouth to reinforce thin gums or receded gums.
Gingivectomy: Oldest surgical treatment for gingivitis where a dentist cuts a part of the gums from the mouth. Gingivectomy is performed when the gums have pulled away from the teeth.
Drugs used to treat gum diseases: Antibiotic treatment with the combination of surgery or other therapies is beneficial for the gum diseases of bacterial origin. Chlorhexidine is the most common antibiotic used in the treatment of gingivitis.

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