Most people tend to disregard that bleeding gums are one of the important indication of gum disease. Gum disease or also known as “periodontal disease is the inflammation of the gingiva or more known as gums. Periodontal (literally means “around the tooth”) diseases are bacterial infections that damage the attaching fibers and the supporting bone that holds the teeth in the mouth. If gum diseases are left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss or heart diseases.
There are two stages of gum diseases. These are: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gums without the bone loss while periodontitis is the inflammation of the gums that results in the loss of the bones around the teeth.
Gingivitis is the early phase of the gum disease. Gingivitis can be treated and reversed if the disease is diagnosed early. Gingivitis are caused by the accumulation of plaque and tartar as a result of poor oral hygiene or by gum trauma caused by hard brushing. The indications of gingivitis are swollen, shiny, and bright red or purple colored gums. Sore mouths, gums that painful when touched, gums that bleeds easily even with gentle brushing and itchy gums in various severity are also symptoms of gingivitis. Another indication of this stage of gum disease is the receding gum line. Gingivitis can be prevented by brushing the teeth thoroughly and gently with toothpaste and daily flossing of the teeth.
Periodontitis is the more serious and advanced phase of gum disease. Loss of the bone around the teeth is possible in this later stage of gum disease and is also irreversible. Attachment fibers and supporting bone around the teeth could be destroyed, and will eventually lead to the loosening and falling out of the teeth. The symptoms of this advanced stage of gum disease are occasional redness or bleeding of the gums while brushing or flossing the teeth or biting hard or crunchy foods. Occasional swelling of the gums that recur, constant bad tastes in the mouth and bad breath or halitosis is also one of its symptoms. Depressions of gums which result to the lengthening of the teeth are other symptoms of periodontitis. This is due to the intense brushing of the teeth by a hard bristled toothbrush. Pockets between the teeth and gums are also an indication of periodontitis. Loose and shaky teeth occur in the later phase of periodontitis.
There are lots of factors that cause gum disease. Smoking cigarette and using spit tobacco are one of the risk factor. Defective fillings, ill fitting bridges or dentures and poor oral hygiene are one of the leading causes of gum disease.
Exercising regular oral hygiene is the best prevention of gum disease. Regular dental check ups and dental cleanings are highly advised. Visit your dentist at least once every six months to detect of if possible avoid any gum disease.