Gum disease is a condition that affects the gums and other structures supporting your teeth and also underlying jaw bone. Gum diseases are mainly due to the growth of bacteria that leads to the build up of plaque in mouth. If it is not treated in the early stage it may lead to the loss of teeth.
Gum diseases are of two types, gingivitis and periodontal diseases. Let’s discuss about them briefly.
Gingivitis is a mild problem of gum disease. Normally bacteria grows in our mouth which on reaction with mucous and other particles in mouth leads to the formation of colorless sticky plaque on mouth. If not treated it becomes hard and forms tartar which is difficult to remove. This leads to the inflammation of gums and bleeding from gums called gingivitis.
It is most seen in pregnant women, diabetes patients and patients taking medicines for blood pressure and seizures. There are two forms of gingivitis: acute and chronic gingivitis. Acute gingivitis is due to infection, trauma and micro organisms, whereas chronic gingivitis is due to the inflammation of gum tissue surround the teeth.
If gingivitis is untreated, it can lead to periodontitis. The plaque starts spreading all over the mouth and grows below the gum line. This plaque releases toxins which destroys the tissue and bone supporting the teeth. Then gums get separate from teeth and forms gap between the teeth. These gaps are occupied with debris and become infected. Finally teeth becomes loose and loss of teeth takes place. There are many forms of periodontitis, such as:
- Chronic Periodontitis: It is the inflammation below the gum line. It occurs mostly in people over 40 age. It causes the destruction of gum and bone tissue. It cannot be cured completely as the supporting tissue gets destroyed. However, it can be treated by tissue grafting surgery to strengthen the bone.
- Aggressive Periodontitis: It is the condition where there is a rapid loss of gum attachment or loss of bone tissue. It is same as chronic periodontitis, but the progression is rapid. It is commonly seen in people who smoke and who have a family history of this disease. Like chronic periodontitis, it can be treated by medications and surgery.
- Narcotizing Periodontitis: It is rarely seen and it is the infection due to the death of gum tissue and periodontal ligament and alveolar bone. It is mainly seen in patients with HIV, immuno suppression and malnutrition. It can be treated by using anti microbial pills, medicated mouth washes and root planning and scaling method.