Gum Disease Symptoms, Causes, Treatments

Gums are the actual heroes – as they cover and protect the bones of your teeth. They are located at the neck of all the teeth with a scalloped appearance. The margin of gum is located at the cement enamel junction, where the root of tooth starts.

Even small problem in gums can possibly lead to several oral health complications – that include loose teeth, bacterial access to jaw bone and others. This the reason, gums should be an important part of daily oral hygiene.

Apart oral hygiene, age, systemic conditions, bad habits (using toothpicks, opening bottle caps, and others) can lead to several issues related to gums.

Here, let’s have a look at information related to some common gum diseases – that include…

  1. Bleeding Gums
  2. Infected Gums
  3. Loose Gum/Loss of Gum Tissue

1. Bleeding Gums

Bleeding gums is one of the very common oral issues faced by many people. Although a small amount of blood loss occasionally is not a big deal. However if your gums are bleeding consistently – whenever you bite or brush then you should not be ignoring it.

Bleeding gums can occur for several reasons – side effect of pregnancy, improper oral hygiene, injury and others. But the biggest trigger that leads to bleeding gums is plague, also known as tartar. When plague buildup along the gum line is not removed then it hardens and turns into tartar (a calcified material) which irritates the gums leading them to bleed. The inflammation caused in the gums due to tartar is called as gingivitis.

Depending on the severity level of the gingivitis, there are 5 stages. We have mentioned the symptoms of each stage below for your reference

1. Early Stage – symptoms include mild swelling in the gums at the margins.

2. Mild Stage – redness is observed in the gums.

3. Moderate Stage – bleeding is caused while brushing or eating hard food.

4. Severe Stage – bleeding from gums spontaneously and swelling in the gums.

5. Very Severe Stage – Swelling and bleeding accompanied by loss of gum tissue.

If left untreated then it can further lead to more advanced gum diseases like periodontitis. Symptoms of periodontitis include – Loss of gum, exposure of tooth root and considerable movement of teeth along with pus discharge from the tooth sulcus.

Different Causes That Lead to Bleeding Gums:

Though plague is the most common reason, there are some of the factors as well that lead to bleeding gums and gingivitis. We have mentioned them below for your convenience.

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Some medical conditions like cancer, uncontrollable diabetes show bleeding gums even for less amount of deposits
  • New toothbrush – can cause trauma to the gums and cause bleeding.
  • New flossing techniques – can cause bleeding due to trauma
  • Pregnancy gingivitis – In the gestation period of 9months there is bleeding from gums even when less amounts of deposits are present. It resolves after delivery.
  • Puberty gingivitis – It occurs during the first few months of puberty due to hormonal changes. It resolves on maintaining good oral hygiene and after few months of puberty.
  • Other causes – Vitamin C deficiency, Vitamin K deficiency, blood cancers

 

What are the Symptoms that Indicate Bleeding Gums?

Bleeding from gums on brushing, bleeding from gums on eating hard food, bad breath, red colored gums, loosening of teeth, food getting lodged in between teeth and gums, dull itchy sensation in all the gums, sensitivity of teeth. In severe cases, people can experience pus discharge from gums.

How Does a Dentist Diagnose Bleeding Gums?

Based on the history and symptoms, your dentist will correlate with the appearance of gums. Dentist will use special instrument called as william’s probe to measure the stage of the issue. X-rays will help a lot to know the impact on the tooth and surrounding bone.

What are the Treatments Available for Bleeding Gums?

Once the dentist categorizes the severity of gum bleeding, he/she will decide which treatment is best for you. The treatment will usually vary from patient to patient. Below, we have mentioned information on several treatments related to bleeding gums.

1. Teeth Cleaning

This treatment includes removal of tartar deposits, bacteria, food debris and other irritating factors resulting in the irritation of gums. You will experience relief from the problem within few days.

2. Deep Cleaning or Scaling

If the issue is 2nd or 3rd stage, then a deep cleaning is suggested. The deep cleaning or scaling is non-surgical procedure performed under local anesthesia. In this process, tartar and plague buildup above and below the gum line are scraped away using a specific tool. Apart from that rough or uneven spaces on teeth are made smooth – as they become safe spots for bacteria to breed.

3. Flap Surgery

If the gums are affected severely and periodontium is involved then a flap surgery is required. In this surgery, the height of the gums will be restored to prevent food deposition.

4. Laser Treatment

Laser treatment is a recent advancement in the dentist industry. This process helps treating the gums without blades or any invasive surgery. And moreover it is completely painless. However it is a bit expensive but it is much more comfortable option than others.

5. Medications

Dentist may describe some mouthwashes or mouth rinses for maintaining the gum health. In case, there is any infection then antibiotics will be prescribed for quick healing.

The appropriate treatment for a patient is usually assessed by a dentist. If gum bleeding is caused to other reasons like pregnancy gingivitis will be resolved after the delivery and puberty gingivitis – with simple oral hygiene habits, the bleeding can be controlled and treated as well.

 

2. Infected Gums

Actually, gum infections are not very common. But if they are left untreated then they can lead to several major issues. Most of us want to maintain our oral health properly but due to some habitual mistakes (sugar loaded diet, biting nails, using toothpick) oral health will be compromised. This eventually affects our gums leading to infection. Identifying the symptoms or warning signs quickly can help you avoid further gum damage and other side effects that come with it.

Symptoms of infected gums include…

  • Receding Gums
  • Pus accumulation in severe cases
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • Mild pain
  • Food lodges in gums
  • Deep red colored gums
  • Swollen, tender and bleeding gums

If you have been experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, consult your dentist to determine the severity and treat it with proper care to combat the issue.

Reasons that Lead to Infected Gums:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Accumulation of bacteria and food debris in the gap between tooth and gums.
  • Poor immunity
  • Bacterial infections in the oral cavity

How Does a Dentist Diagnose?

Dentist will use a special instrument called as Willam’s Probe for measuring the infection levels. Apart from that X-ray will also be taken to know the impact of gum infection on the tooth and surrounding base.

How to Treat Gum Infections?

Once the dentist analyzes the severity of gum infection and cause of the infection, he/she will suggest the appropriate treatment for you. The treatment will vary from patient to patient depending on infection level. Below are some of the treatment options available for gum infection…

1. Antibiotic Treatment – As it is an infection, dentist may resort to antibiotic pills or injections to deal with bacterial growth. Once the infection reduces, dentist will clean the area to remove any bacteria particles. After that, proper oral hygiene and regular dentist visits for deep cleaning will be effective in preventing the gum infections in future.

2. Root Planing and Scaling Treatment – This is an advanced treatment for gum infection. In this procedure, a deep cleaning is provided between the teeth and gums – up to the roots.

3. Gingivectomy – This treatment is suggested when the infection is severe. In this procedure, a part of gum tissue is removed.

4. Flap Surgery – This treatment is suggested when the infection is too severe. In this process, dentist will perform flap surgery which involves bone or tissue grafts.

Usually, the treatment will be assessed by the dentist. Detecting it in early stages will help you prevent the infection from getting worse.

 

3. Loose Gums

Loose gums occurs when the gum tissues loose its capacity to support the teeth. This condition often creates pockets or space between the teeth and gum tissue – which is an ideal environment for bacteria growth and tartar buildup. Even regular brushing and flossing cannot remove the debris and tartar that gets accumulated in these gaps. This further leads to infection in gums, tooth decay and several other serious dental issues if left treated.

Symptoms of Loose Gums

  • Bleeding gums while brushing
  • Mild to severe pain
  • Exposure of tooth root
  • If infection is present then there is a chance of pus discharge
  • Slight loosening of tooth.
  • Causes of Loose Gums
  • Improper oral hygiene
  • Buildup of plaque and tartar
  • Brushing too hard
  • Grinding or clenching your teeth
  • Crooked teeth or misaligned bite
  • Trauma to the gum tissue

What are the Treatments Offered for Treating Loose Gums?

1. Medications:

In order to prevent the infection and avoid further dental issues, dentist may recommend antibiotics and gels. In some cases, dentists may also suggest some antibiotic mouthwashes and medicated toothbrushes.

2. Deep Cleaning

Dentist may suggest deep cleaning in some cases where there is too much buildup of tartar. In this process, dentist will clean the gum pockets and all the areas where it is hard for the brush to reach.

3. Flap Surgery

This treatment is suggested when the problem is too severe. In this process, dentist will perform flap surgery which involves bone or tissue grafts. The periodontist lists up the gums and performs deep cleaning to remove bacterial, plaque and tartar. Once the procedure is completed, periodontist put back the gums in place.

4. Loss of Gum Tissue

Loss of gum tissue or receding gums often occurs when the gums pull away from the teeth. It is common in people of all ages. If left untreated, they expose the root surface of the tooth. This can often lead to loose teeth. And in worst cases, bacteria can build up at the roots leading to infection – which eventually kill the tooth and spread to jaw bone.

What are the Factors that Lead to Loss of Gum Tissue?

  • Age is one of the common factors often associated with receding gums.
  • Trauma to the gum tissue
  • Infections in the gums
  • Genetics
  • Poor dental care
  • Periodontal diseases
  • Brushing too hard
  • Disturbance in hormone levels
  • Using tobacco products
  • Grinding or clenching your teeth
  • Crooked teeth or misaligned bite

 

Symptoms of Receding Gums/Loss of Gum Tissue

The symptoms of this dental issue will vary from person to person. Some of the common ones are mentioned below…

  • Long Teeth – this is one of the most common symptoms. Once the receding gums start, you will observe lengthening of teeth – which means that due to less gum tissue, the teeth appear much longer than normal.
  • Exposed Roots – this symptom can be sensitive and uncomfortable. This can be caused due to brushing overly aggressively with a toothbrush having hard bristles.
  • Loose Teeth – When the gums recede, exposing the roots then teeth become tooth – as they no longer have the grip or support. And often loose teeth provide gaps or pockets for bacterial to grow which can worsen the attachment structure.

How Does a Dentist Diagnose?

Using a William’s probe, the dentist will check the teeth and gums. Apart from that, he/she will measure the gum pockets. As per National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, the size of normal gum pockets range from 1 – 3 millimeters. If the gum pockets are larger than the mentioned then it is a sign of gum disease.

Treatment for Loss of Gum Tissue

A periodontist is the right person to determine the right treatment for a person. Usually, the treatment will vary based on the severity levels. Below are some of the common treatment options…

1. Medications

If an infection is found in the gum pockets then first treatment a dentist will resort is medications or antibiotics. Some of the medication include – topical antibiotic gel, antiseptic chips, enzyme suppressants, and antimicrobial mouthwash.

2. Surgery

In the worst cases of receding gums, surgery can be suggested by the dentist. Well, there are two types of surgeries – grafting and flap surgery. Flap surgery is used other treatment fail. In this procedure, the periodontist lists up the gums and performs deep cleaning to remove bacterial, plaque and tartar. Once the procedure is completed, periodontist put back the gums in place. In some cases, teeth may still appear longer after the flap surgery but the gums will be actually fitted much closely for enhanced support. In grafting procedure, the periodontist will either place a piece of bone/tissue or synthetic particle to boost the gum re-growth. But remember that, either of these procedure may not be successful over long term if proper oral care is not taken considered.

How to Prevent Gum Diseases?

Maintaining healthy gums and preventing infection is very easy by making oral hygiene a priority. Proper oral hygiene includes – brushing and flossing regularly. With this routine, you can happily prevent gum diseases including gum infection, bleeding gums, receding gums, and other oral issues like tooth decay. Below, we have mentioned an oral hygiene routine. Make sure you stick to it for healthy benefits…

  • Make sure to brush 2 times in a day. It is better to use a fluoride toothpaste for good results. These toothpastes have anti-gingivitis enzymes which gently neutralize the bacteria that are trapped around the gum line.
  • Flossing after brushing helps to remove any food particles trapped in between the teeth and areas that a toothbrush cannot reach.
  • Use an anti-gingivitis mouthwash – as it helps in killing the bacteria that leads to plaque and tartar buildup. There are several types of mouthwashes available in the market. Some of them even contain ingredients that strengthen enamel, prevent cavities and promote whitening. Choose any one that fits your oral routine requirements.
  • Make sure to visit a dentist at least 2 times in a year. This helps to remove the tartar buildup you haven’t been able to take care at home. Buildup up of tartar in the hard to clean areas can be very bad for your gums.
  • If you take tobacco then it’s time to give up. Because smoking is responsible for 75% of periodontal diseases among the adult. Using tobacco products damages the gum tissue and increases the risk of gum diseases.
  • Maintain proper eating and living lifestyle. Apart oral hygiene, it is also important to follow proper eating habits that include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and others. And make sure exercise regularly and avoid drinking alcohol.

As prevention is one of the best ways to avoid gum infection – it is very important to take care of your gums as a priority. Make to follow the above guidelines to keep both teeth and gums healthy.

Some Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What happens if your gums are loose?

A. This dental issue arises when the gum tissue loses its capability to support the teeth. Eventually, this will create a problem of loose teeth. And moreover as the tooth roots can be exposed, there is a high risk of infection in the gum pockets, at the tooth roots and between the teeth.

2. what to do if your gum is loose?

A. If you have observed that your gums are loose then first thing you have to do is – visit a dentist. Leaving it untreated can lead to several complications. And a dentist is the right person to determine the level of severity and appropriate treatment to fix them up.

3. Can receding gums cause loose teeth?

A. Yes. Receding gums can lead to loose teeth. If this issue is no treated in early stages then gums will recede to expose the tooth roots. This eventually make the gums to lose the capability of supporting teeth making them loose.

4. How do I get my gums to stop bleeding?

A. By maintaining a proper hygiene like brushing twice a day and flossing daily will help to stop the bleeding gums. But if they are in advanced stage it is better to visit a dentist and go with the treatment suggested by him/her.

5. How do you fix bleeding gums?

A. There are several treatment methods which help treating the bleeding gums. They are – deep cleaning, scaling, laser treatment and others. Visit a dentist to know which method is appropriate for your situation to treat bleeding gums.

6. What vitamin deficiency causes gums to bleed?

A. The dental issue of receding gums is closely related to the levels of vitamin D or vitamin C in your body. So, testing out for the vitamin levels in your body helps to find out whether it is the reason in your case or nor.

7. Is Bleeding gums a sign of cancer?

A. Yes, frequent gum bleeding can indicate serious internal health issues like leukemia (cancer of blood).

8. What is the home remedy for bleeding gums?

A. If the bleeding gums issue is still in initial stage then you can treat it using simple home remedies like oil pulling and applying aloe vera juice to the gums. Leave the application for few minutes and rinse off with water. Instead of aloe vera, you can also try peppermint essential oil, clove oil, eucalyptus oil and salt. You can also replace wet green tea bags for goof relief.

9. Which toothpaste is best for bleeding gums?

A. Purchase a toothpaste that contains fluoride and is free from triclosan. They help to strengthen your gums and teeth, removes plaque and deals with bacteria.

10. What mouthwash is best for bleeding gums?

A. Purchase a mouthwash that doesn’t contain alcohol or other harmful ingredients. Listerine is one of the best options to purchase.

11. Why are my gums bleeding for no reason?

A. Gums don’t bleed for no reason. It can be caused due to harsh brushing as well. So, we recommend consulting a dentist to know the proper reason for gums bleeding.

12. Why are my gums bleeding around one tooth?

A. May be, there is an infection or decay neat that particular tooth. So, we recommend visiting the dentist to the right reason and appropriate treatment.

13. How do I stop my gums from bleeding after extraction?

A. Your dentist will prescribe some medications to control the bleeding. However for more relief, you can apply some ice wrapped in cloth on the affected gums.

14. Can stress cause bleeding gums?

A. Stress may not be a direct cause of bleeding gums. However it can be worsen the bleeding gums.

About GA Dental Clinics:

GA Dental Clinics are the finest dental hospitals in Hyderabad. They are best in terms of modern dentistry as they are equipped with latest equipment and highly skilled dental experts. Each dentist working with GA Dental Clinics highly qualified and experienced in providing services to patients.

The mission of GA dental Clinics is to provide high quality dental care with an integrated, multidisciplinary and comprehensive approach. For more details and to know different treatment options, we recommend scheduling an appointment with us at your convenient time.