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Gum Diseases

Gum disease also called periodontal disease is an infection of the tissues surrounding and supporting teeth. In the early stage called gingivitis, the gums become red, swollen and bleed easily. At this stage the disease is still reversible and can usually be eliminated by daily brushing and flossing. But as the disease advances, bacterial toxins from plaque and calculus destroy the bone and the supporting structures deeper down. The resulting bone loss and gums pulling away from teeth, lead to tooth mobility and ultimately loss of teeth if it remains untreated.   

Women, due to their physiology are more prone to developing gum diseases, particularly when a girl hits puberty. The hormonal imbalance that occurs  throughout a women’s child bearing age with every menstrual cycle, every pregnancy, oral contraceptive pills and last but not the least with menopause, leads to exaggerated response of oral tissues to bacterial plaque, leading to exacerbation of already present subtle gum disease. So, it is even more important for a woman to maintain an immaculate oral hygiene throughout her life and have regular dental checkups at least every 6 months.

Some risk factors that increase the danger of developing periodontal disease:

  • Tobacco smoking or chewing
  • Systemic diseases such as diabetes
  • Some types of medication such as steroids, anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, oral contraceptives and some calcium channel blockers given for hypertension.
  • Bridges that no longer fit properly
  • Crooked teeth
  • Fillings that have become defective
  • Pregnancy and use of oral contraceptives

There are several warning signs that can signal a problem:

  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Red, swollen, tender gums
  • Gums that have pulled away from teeth
  • Persistent bad breath or bad taste
  • Permanent teeth that are loose or separating
  • Any change in a way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • Any change in the fit of partial dentures
Gum disease is usually painless, so you may not know you have it. That is one reason why regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations are very important. You don’t have to lose your otherwise healthy teeth to periodontal diseases. Brush, clean between you teeth, eat a balanced diet, and schedule regular dental visits for a life time of healthy smiles.


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