Gum disease is one of the leading causes of loss of teeth. A sticky film of bacteria and food called plaque builds around the teeth on a day-to-day basis. This sticky film can be cleared only partially by regular brushing. Plague builds up, which is the primary reason for gum diseases. Several factors such as ineffective tooth brushing, a diet rich in carbohydrates, misaligned teeth, and diseases such as diabetes can accelerate gum diseases even in young individuals
WHAT IS TARTAR
A thin sticky film of bacteria and food accumulates around teeth daily, called plaque. When this plaque layer is not cleared regularly, it gets hardened to form concrete-like tartar or calculus. Tartar forms underneath the gums and along the gum line which in turn irritates the gums leading to gum disease.
CAN TARTAR BE REMOVED BY BRUSHING?
Once tartar is formed, it adheres to teeth very tightly and cannot be removed by regular tooth brushing. Dentists use special ultrasonic instruments to remove this tartar without damaging the teeth. The longer the tartar stays in and around the teeth, the greater is the damage to the gums and teeth.
HOW OFTEN IS PROFESSIONAL CLEANING RECOMMENDED?
Dentists use specialized instruments such as ultrasonic scalers to remove plaque and tartar. It is recommended that every individual has at least two visits to the dentist for professional cleaning or scaling every year throughout their life.
EARLY SIGNS OF GUM DISEASE
One of the main symptoms of gum disease is bad breath. A healthy gum would normally look pink in colour and firm. A bright red and swollen gums that bleed on touching or regular brushing is one of the earliest signs of gum disease.
WHAT HAPPENS IF GUM DISEASE IS LEFT UNTREATED
Early gum disease is reversible. However if it is left untreated for long periods, the gums progressively become weak and the underlying bone resorbs. This leads to gaps between teeth, proclination or projection of teeth, mobile or loose teeth and finally loss of the tooth itself.
BAD BREATH: CAUSES AND REMEDIES
Bad breath is an embarrassing and unpleasant problem that many individuals face. Gum disease is the leading cause of bad breath. In addition to gum disease, there are several other reasons for bad breath such as dietary habits, gastrointestinal and indigestion problems, sinus and respiratory tract infections, lung infections, smoking etc.
REASON FOR BLEEDING WHILE BRUSHING
Plaque or tartar build-up underneath the gums causes inflammation of the gums. An inflamed gum can bleed even on the slightest touch while eating and brushing. Bleeding gums is one of the earliest signs of gum disease. A simple professional cleaning by the dentist to remove the plaque and tartar accumulation can arrest this bleeding and bring your gums back to health.
TREATMENT FOR GUM DISEASE
The treatment for gum disease depends on the extent of the disease itself. It can vary from a simple professional cleaning to a gum surgery that is performed under local anesthesia. Artificial bone can be used to strengthen the gums along with gum surgery in individuals who have really weak gums.