Gum disease almost always occurs due to the presence and accumulation of harmful bacteria in the oral cavity. These opportunistic bacteria produce acids that are harmful to the tooth structures as well as the soft tissues. In case of soft tissues, these bacteria can cause anything from simple swelling or inflammation of the gums, to loss of attachment and gingival recession. Some of the most common forms of gum disease seen all over the world include gingivitis, periodontitis and acute ulcerative necrotizing gum disease. Some forms of gum disease are also associated with the presence of some systemic disorders or hormonal changes and may not be related to the accumulation of bacteria in the mouth.
Maintaining ideal oral health and hygiene:
It is said that prevention is better than cure, and rightly so, because best treatment of gum disease is a good oral health and hygiene regime that can prevent the development of any gum and tooth related diseases. It has been seen that people who maintain good oral hygiene with proper brushing, flossing, as well as regular visits to the dentist are less prone to carious attacks and gum disease than those with poor oral hygiene conditions. The very first sign of cavitations and gum disease is the presence of plaque which contains bacteria. Regular brushing can prevent this layer of plaque from accumulating onto the tooth surface and gingival margins, thus preventing diseases before they can develop.
Importance of flossing:
It is important to keep in mind that the use of ADA approved toothpastes and mouth washes is essential in order to maintain good oral hygiene conditions. To prevent and treat gum diseases, toothpastes containing fluoride must be used to help in eliminating bacteria, and inducing remineralization. Flossing is also very important because brushing alone cannot remove plaque and food debris that may have accumulated in the inter-dental spaces. It is usually the inter-dental and sub-gingival plaque that becomes the leading cause of the development of gum diseases. It is for this reason that brushing along with regular flossing is considered the ideal method of maintaining ideal oral health.
Smoking as a leading cause of gum disease:
Studies show that excessive smoking is also one of the leading causes of gum diseases, thus in order to prevent the development of gum diseases, it is important to quit smoking.
Scaling and root planning:
In case of excessive accumulation of calcified plaque, known as calculus, it is important to immediately consult a dentist who will advise scaling. Scaling is the most effective dental procedure for the removal of calculus and plaque, which has accumulated in areas that cannot be accessed using a toothbrush or floss. Scaling can help restore the health and integrity of the gums and can prevent any further complications which may include gingival recession leading to tooth mobility. Root planning and surgery are options which are advised in cases of severe gum disease. Root planning refers to a procedure whereby the bacteria and plaque accumulated at the roots of the teeth is cleaned and removed.