Gum disease is also known as periodontal disease. This disease is very common among people from almost all age groups, especially among adults over the age of 30. Gum disease can cause just a little inflammation or it could turn serious to the extent that it damages the bones or even the soft tissue that serves as a foundation for your teeth. The causes of gum disease and the different non-surgical treatments available to counter the disease are given below.
Causes of Gum Disease
The basic cause of gum disease is the bacteria that is in our mouth. Because of the environment, our mouths carry sufficient bacteria to cause gum disease. The bacteria joins up with some other particles like mucus and starts forming a colorless and sticky plaque on our teeth. This plaque often gets removed by brushing; however, the plaque that brushing is unable to remove thickens and forms ‘tartar’. This tartar can only be removed by a professional dentist.
The treatments for gum disease depend upon the severity and can be divided into non-surgical and surgical treatments. Here we will talk about only the non-surgical treatments. The website WebMD gives good insight into both types of treatments for gum disease.
Non-surgical treatment is done when the problem is not very serious. In this case, just a little cleaning, some medication or maybe even some prevention can prevent a person from developing gum disease. A dentist normally chooses one of the following non-surgical treatments depending on the condition.
This is also known as scaling and root planing. As obvious from the name, it involves deep cleaning of your teeth without surgery. In the process of scaling, the plaque or tartar on, above, or below your gums is removed. This once again whitens your teeth and makes them look clean. In the second step, root planing, the dentist eliminates the gaps, rough spots or other such spaces around the tooth or teeth that help bacteria gather and form the disease. In this way, deep cleaning not only removes the disease once, but also prevents it from developing next time. However, the dentist may also suggest that you follow some precautionary measures.
Medication may or may not come as part of the scaling and root planning process. But, medication is usually seen as a middle option between non-surgical and surgical methods for treatment of gum disease. So, if non-surgical methods are not enough and the dentist still believes the patient does not need surgery, he or she may recommend medication to control the gum disease. Some of the medications used include
- antiseptic chips
- antibiotic gel
- antibiotic microshperes
- prescription antimicrobial mouthrinse
- enzyme suppressants
- and oral antibiotics.
However, if the disease has progressed beyond non-surgical methods, the dentist may recommend surgery.
Precautionary Measures to Avoid Gum Disease
- Make a habit of brushing your teeth properly twice a day.
- Quit smoking.
- Use dental floss to remove plaque regularly.
- Visit your dentist regularly for full checkups.