What is gum disease?
Gum disease, sometimes referred to as periodontal disease, is an inflammation of the tissues supporting and encircling your teeth. It is brought on by a buildup of plaque and bacteria on the gums and teeth.
Gingivitis is the name for the early stage of gum disease, which is characterized by red, swollen, and bleeding gums. Gingivitis can develop into periodontitis, a more serious form of gum disease, if it is not treated. The bone and tissues that support teeth can be harmed by periodontitis, which can result in tooth loss.
Poor dental hygiene, smoking, diabetes, hormonal changes (such as during pregnancy), and a family history of gum disease are some of the prevalent risk factors for gum disease.
Depending on how bad the situation is, gum disease may require treatment. Improved oral hygiene habits and expert cleanings by a dentist or dental hygienist are frequently effective treatments for mild forms of gingivitis. Gum disease that is more severe may require more thorough treatment, including deep cleaning procedures like scaling and root planing, antibiotic treatments, or in certain circumstances, surgery.
To stop further harm to your teeth and gums, it's crucial to get treatment for gum disease as soon as possible. Regular dental checkups and cleanings can also aid in halting the onset of gum disease.
Stages of Gum Disease
Periodontal (gum) disease has plagued humans since the beginning of human history. And while dental health has improved significantly over the years, the facts remain clear that 90% of adult Singaporeans^ have some form of gum disease. This may range from the mildest (gingivitis) to the most severe (periodontitis). And some probably don't even know they 're having a problem. This is because most often periodontal disease occurs without signs or indications that, even if present, most people prefer to dismiss or overlook.
Thus, here's a clear idea of the 4 stages of gum disease that might help you spot it before it gets worse:
Stage 1: Gingivitis
The first stage of gum disease is Gingivitis or gums inflammation, without loss of bone. While in the absence of good oral hygiene, nearly all people will develop gingivitis, while only 10 to 15 percent of them will develop more advanced stages of the disease.
Stage 2: Initial Periodontitis
At this stage, gingivitis advances into the deeper periodontal structures — the tissues that connect the teeth to the bone resulting in early or initial bone loss. About 10 percent of the population develops full-blown periodontitis that results in drastic bone loss.
Stage 3: Mild Periodontitis
The third stage of gum disease results in significant bone loss (20 to 50 per cent) of the teeth's root surfaces due to continued tissue and bone destruction. Periodontal disease is "cyclical"—it goes through cycles with activity bursts, followed by a period in which the body is attempting to recover.
This is known as frustrated healing or chronic inflammation.
Stage 4: Progressive Periodontitis
There is significant bone loss (50 to 85 per cent) from the root of the tooth in the final stage of gum disease. This stage involves teeth looseness, shifting teeth, red, swollen and painful gums, often forming an abscess. The end result — eating and even smiling is hard and painful, and you may lose most of your teeth.
However, it's important for you to know that all of this is preventable with regular oral hygiene and routine oral cleaning at the dental clinic. Most patients who develop gum disease have never been to the dentist for a routine checkup and cleaning.
How can water flosser help to improve gum disease?
Gum disease can be managed and prevented with the aid of water flossing. The accumulation of germs and plaque in the mouth, which is what causes gum disease, can be reduced by using water flossing to clean in between teeth and along the gum line.
Using a constant stream of water, water flossing removes germs and food fragments from between the teeth and gums. This can aid in reducing gum inflammation and bleeding, which are frequent signs of gum disease.
Additionally, water flossing can assist in cleaning parts of the mouth that are challenging to reach with conventional floss or a toothbrush, like the deep spaces between teeth and gums.
Water flossing has been found in studies to be more effective than traditional string flossing at removing plaque and gingivitis, a moderate type of gum disease. Another typical sign of gum disease, bleeding gums, has also been proven to be reduced by water flossing.
Water flossing can be a useful aid in the management and prevention of gum disease, but it shouldn't be used as a replacement for brushing and routine to the dentist. For optimum oral health, it's crucial to maintain appropriate oral hygiene practices including twice-daily brushing and at least once-daily water flossing.
^extract from singhealth.com.sg