There is nothing more unpleasant than brushing your teeth and suddenly seeing blood on the brush or spitting out so-called bloody water. If you think you are the only one who has experienced it you should know that not so. About 50% of people have gum infections and periodontal disease.
Gingivitis can be the initial form of gum disease, and its symptoms involve red and swollen gums. This is almost always caused by bacterial biofilm called plaque that builds upon or between your teeth. If you don't remove regularly this bacteria, it can lead to inflamed gums. Due to this inflammation, small spaces (or pockets) begin to form between them and the teeth. This could lead to more serious health problems such as receding gums, deep pockets between the teeth, and even tooth and bone loss. The gum infection is treatable, so it is very important to visit your dentist before your symptoms get worsen.
If you want to learn more about gum disease causes and treatment read the following lines.
What causes gum disease?
Some of the gum disease causes include:
Plaque. The accumulation of plaque is the most common cause of the initial stage of periodontal disease called gingivitis. Bacterial plaque accumulates over and around the teeth constantly and, if it is not removed by brushing regularly, it can irritate the gums, leading to redness and inflammation1. Normally this condition is not painful, but if left untreated, it can develop and get worsen, becoming periodontitis. This is a more acute stage of gum disease that can cause possible bone loss in teeth. Periodontitis treatment is difficult as the disease is sometimes irreversible.
Mouth ulcers. These red, white, or grey sores can be painful and appear in the mouth, including on your gums. As a result, the gums can become painful and inflamed. You may have one or many sores all over your mouth. Although they cause discomfort, ulcers are usually harmless and go away after a few days. Regular mouthwash can speed healing and help prevent infection. If the ulcers persist and appear constantly, you should see your doctor.
Gum abrasion. If you brush your teeth too hard or aggressively, you can injure the soft gum tissue, causing it to become painful and inflamed. An effective technique to alleviate this problem is to brush your teeth gently with circular motions.
Cancer treatments. Treatments of cancer can increase the risk of infections. It is because the immune system is weak and susceptible to infections. In addition, a lot of new research points to severe gum disease increasing the chances of getting cancer2.
Stress and depression. These are significant risk factors in the development of gum diseases.
There are a lot of reasons why your gums may be inflamed. If you have any gum infection symptoms it is a good idea to make an appointment with a specialist to find out what is causing it. The dentist may give you the best advice on treatments gum disease.
What types of gum disease are there?
The gum disease can be two types - mild form called gingivitis and advanced form known as periodontitis.
Gingivitis is a common gum infection where they become red and swollen. Very often when brushing gums start to bleed. When gingivitis is not treated it may turn into periodontitis.
Periodontitis is a serious degenerative infection of the teeth and one of the main reasons for tooth loss. In fact, more teeth are lost due to periodontitis than due to tooth decay.
As we said one of the main reasons for these diseases is the accumulation of plaque. That's why experts recommend removing accumulated plaque every day to prevent gum infection. You can do this by brushing and flossing your teeth regularly.
Gum disease symptoms
The main symptoms of gum disease are:
- Bleeding when brushing or eating;
- Swelling of the gums;
- Redness of the gums;
- Soreness when chewing;
- The appearance of halitosis (bad breath).
When the gums recede, they expose the roots of the teeth and make them vulnerable. One of the first symptoms of receding gums is increased tooth sensitivity.
How to treat gum disease?
Some dental treatment methods include:
- Cleaning of all teeth to remove plaque and hard deposits;
- Creating an individual daily routine for good oral hygiene;
- Topical antibacterial treatment with different solutions and gels;
- Drug treatment to increase immunity;
- Special treatment with antibiotics, antivirals, and antifungals when a specific pathogen is detected;
- Physiotherapy, laser therapy3;
- Gum surgery.
When you have active gum disease, daily brushing might be not enough because it generally cleans plaque and tartar from above the gum line so you may need medical advice and professional gum infection treatment. Your dentist may recommend dental scaling and root planing which is one of the most effective procedures for treating gum disease.
The laser procedure is also an effective treatment method that gives very good initial results but further testing and research is required to determine its usefulness long-term4. Laser devices have several modes of operation. They are divided into low-energy and high-energy lasers. They are used for both periodontal treatment and surgery. Laser treatment of gums speeds the healing process, strengthens the gums, and stimulates the immune system. The dental laser treatment is most often performed without anaesthesia, as the procedure is painless.
When the periodontitis is in an advanced stage the dentist may recommend gum surgery. This is an effective degenerative gum disease treatment.
How to prevent gum disease?
In order to prevent the disease and health problems, experts advise:
- Choose a suitable soft toothbrush or a brush with moderate hardness;
- Brush your teeth and gums thoroughly for 3 minutes in the morning and evening;
- Clean the spaces between the teeth with floss in the morning and evening and after meals;
- Use special mouthwashes;
- To improve the blood supply to the gums before going to bed, do a light massage of the gums;
- Include in your diet fresh and natural foods rich in vitamins and minerals;
- Get rid of bad habits;
- Reduce the number of carbohydrates in your diet.
Good oral hygiene is the key to healthy gums and teeth. And remember prevention is always better than cure.
Home remedies for gum infection
People often ask how to cure gum disease without a dentist. Here are some home remedies that may help when the gum inflammation is at an early stage.
- Saltwater5. The antibacterial and antiseptic properties of table salt can be useful against bacteria involved in the development of periodontitis, and can also reduce inflammation and pain. Add 2 tablespoons of salt to a glass of lukewarm water. Take 1 teaspoon of this mixture and hold it in your mouth for 1 minute, spit it out and repeat again. Do this every day, 2-3 times a day.
- Strawberries and lemon. Strawberries are rich in ellagic acid that can be helpful in removing tartar and whitening teeth. In addition to whitening teeth, strawberries help maintain good gum health and prevent inflammation. The rich content of vitamin C in them helps in the treatment of infections. Lemon juice has similar properties. Put about 3-4 strawberries in a blender and add a tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Apply the resulting mixture on the teeth and gums. Then rinse with water and spit out.
- Tumeric. Turmeric contains the active ingredient curcumin, which has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects. Its action is directed against the bacteria found on the gums, and can also relieve pain and inflammation. In addition, it promotes the health of the oral cavity in general. The easiest way to use turmeric as a remedy for periodontitis is to sprinkle turmeric powder on the toothbrush (with soft bristles) and rub on the teeth and gums. Do this 2 times a day for several weeks.
However, if you want to achieve good and effective results it is best to see a dentist as soon as possible as advanced stages of gum disease are related to many other health risk factors, including heart disease6
How much do gum disease treatments cost in Singapore?
If you have diseased gums you must do something about it. It is difficult to pin down an average price for periodontal disease treatment because of the wide range in severity of the condition. The range of prices for gum disease treatment in Singapore can start as low as $100 for basic cleaning and go up to $5000 or if you need more serious treatment.
- 1. https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/sites/default/files/2017-09/periodontal-diseas...
- 2. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180116111145.htm
- 3. https://www.perio.org/consumer/gum-disease-laser-therapy
- 4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5297978/
- 5. https://www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health/gingivitis-home...
- 6. https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/gum-disease-and-heart-diseas...