Dental Care perhaps presents the best examples of reaping the benefits of 'Prevention is better than Cure'. Signs and symptoms of various dental concerns start making themselves known if we only stop paying attention to our teeth just as we do with our body. Bleeding gums are a frequent occurrence among many. If treatment and care is taken immediately, it may be possible to ward off the next stage of gum disease. Listed below are a few basics of gum diseases and its early signs and also the cases that present themselves in a higher-risk category.
Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease. It causes the gums to become red, swollen and bleed easily. There is usually little or no discomfort at this stage. Gingivitis is often caused by inadequate oral hygiene. Gingivitis is reversible with professional treatment and good oral care at home.
Untreated gingivitis can advance to Periodontitis. With time, plaque can spread and grow below the gum line and the toxins produced by the bacteria in plaque irritate the gums. The toxins stimulate a chronic inflammatory response and the tissues and bone that support the teeth are broken down and destroyed. In this case, gums become separate from the teeth forming pockets (spaces between the teeth and gums). As the disease progresses, the pockets deepen and more gum tissue and bone are destroyed. Often, this destructive process has very mild symptoms. Eventually, teeth can become loose and may have to be removed.
Studies have suggested that there is a two-way relationship between diabetes and periodontal diseases. The International Diabetes Federation guideline outlines helpful guidance for health professionals who treat people living with or at the risk of diabetes. Everyone should maintain healthy teeth and gums to avoid periodontal disease but people with diabetes should pay extra attention. It is also established that periodontal disease in turn triggers diabetes by initiating the body's inflammatory response which can affect insulin sensitivity and ultimately lead to unhealthy blood sugar levels. Establishing routine periodontal care is one way to help keep diabetes under control.
Women may experience increased gingivitis or pregnancy gingivitis beginning in the second or third month of pregnancy that increases in severity throughout the eighth month. During this time, some women may notice swelling, bleeding, redness or tenderness in the gum tissues. Studies have shown a relationship between periodontal disease and pre-term resulting in low birth weight babies. Any infection including periodontal infection is a cause for concern during pregnancy. In fact, pregnant women who have periodontal disease may be seven times more likely to have a baby that is born too early and too small. Including a periodontal evaluation as a part of the prenatal care program can be highly beneficial.