We all have faced it or keep on facing it at times -what ?
When we wake up in the morning -it feels like our teeth and gums are covered with a slime like thing, it is pale yellow in colour called biofilm (a thin layer of germs ) which is easily removed by brushing , flossing and swishing
However if we do not remove it on daily basis , it keeps on collecting and forms into dental plaque .
What is plaque?
An invisible sticky film composed mainly of bacteria that form on teeth when starches and sugars in food interact with bacteria normally found in mouth
Good oral hygiene can potentially make dental biofilm healthy by increasing the amount of good germs it contains
What is Tartar?
Plaque that stays on the teeth can harden under the gum line into Tartar(calculus) which collects bacteria. Tartar makes plaque more difficult to remove, creates a protective shield for bacteria and it causes irritation along the gum line. Tatar can only be removed by the dentist and their professional tools .
PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE
Gum problems -Common term for germ infection in mouth
Periodontitis -serious stage of gum problem which eventually looses the teeth one time and finally tooth falls out.
Bleeding gums – While brushing if we see a little blood in sink along with toothpaste , we feel it is common to convince ourselves, these are the indications along with other missed red alerts like- puffy red and irritated gums
Very few understand that gum pain is not an early symptom and if left unattended can lead to serious gum problems like periodontitis
But initial gum problems are reversible through good oral hygiene.
What are ‘shrinking Gums’?
When we notice that more of the lower part of teeth is visible I.e. Gum and bone pulling away from teeth- gums are receding and the exposed teeth are more prone to be damaged.
STAGES OF GUM DISEASE
Gingivitis- Red and swollen gums which bleed with brushing and flossing (earliest stage of gum disease). Periodontitis-Plaque when reaches below gum line and produces toxins that trigger inflammation+ receding gums- infection-damages bones and loosens teeth
Advanced Periodontitis- Loose teeth, bone loss continuous , gums swell and one may develop temperature sensitivity
Common symptoms of Gum Disease
- Sensitive gums
- Bleeding gums while brushing and flossing
- Receding gums
- Bad breath
- Pus in gums
- Feeling of loose teeth
- Discoloration of gums which otherwise are pink and firm.
- Early stage is often reversible by following proper oral hygiene.
- If plaque has started to form- it needs professional cleaning- advised scaling and root planning.
- In extreme cases it may require surgical and restorative intervention.
Gum Diseases in Children & Teens
- Some children may inherit from their parents
- Junk food , soda and similar foods.
- Poor Oral hygiene.
- Not cleaning teeth properly with braces on.
- Too much stress and lousy diet.
- Hormonal changes in girls during puberty making their gums more sensitive.
HOW TO PREVENT GUM DISEASE
- Eat balanced diet.
- Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes , following the right procedure of brushing.
- Use of fluoride toothpaste.
- Quit smoking or tobacco.
- Visit your dentist for check up every 6 months.