What are the reasons for gum disease and how can you prevent it?

Bleeding gums may be considered a minor irritation, but they can cause many more serious diseases. Most of us know about bleeding gums but they don’t know it’s treatment. Though bleeding gums are very common, it’s not something we should accept.

Bleeding gums are an indication of gingivitis or inflammation of gums. It is caused by a buildup of plaque at the gumline. In the case of gingivitis, your gums may be red, irritated, and swollen. They usually bleed when you brush your teeth.

Dr. Uchenna Okoye who is a clinical director at London Smiling and a British Dental Association spokesperson speaks that Bleeding gums are not normal. Actually, they are the first sign of gum disease. They can also rarely be a symbol of more serious ailment like leukemia or vitamin C deficiency.

Okoye explains that Bacteria from plaque release toxins which are responsible for damaging the gum tissue. Thus, causing inflammation and then bleeding.

In its initial stage, mild gum disease, called gingivitis, is comparatively easy to treat. But a later stage called periodontitis is more serious than this.

With time, the bone gets destroyed and teeth become loose and painful. Rather than tooth decay, gum disease is the leading cause of loss of teeth.

Who is more at risk?

Women are more at risk of gum disease due to hormonal fluctuations. And most of them don’t know the bleeding gums treatment.

During adolescence, there is increased blood flow to the gums which can change how they respond to the plaque. Hormonal changes during menopause and pregnancy can also affect gums. Loss of estrogen because of menopause can cause bone loss in the jaw.

Anybody having a dry mouth with reduced saliva flow can be more susceptible because saliva helps in cleansing the gums. Some medications for other diseases can cause dry mouth. Anybody who doesn’t have good oral hygiene or who eats a poor diet with too much sugar is at risk of gum disease.

The link to other diseases

You may consider bleeding gums as a nuisance, but the study shows that they can possibly be more severe. According to researchers, gum disease is also linked to many health problems, counting cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, premature birth, and erectile dysfunction.

Moreover, gum disease is associated with the diseases which share an inflammatory pathway. But research is relatively new into this, this is the reason many people are unaware of the association.

Also, the bacteria associated with gum ailment are involved in the formation of arteriosclerosis and are found in the heart tissues of people with heart disease.

This low inflammation level caused by bacteria from plaque is also related to the development of type 2 diabetes and cancer. Moreover, patients with gum disease are more probable to have poor blood sugar control and either have or are at risk from, type 2 diabetes.

Because gum disease seldom causes pain until it’s more advanced, people ignore it and be unaware of how it can affect other areas of their body.

Prevent gum disease

  • Gum disease is preventable and you can also reverse it with good oral hygiene, while you can’t reverse lost teeth or bone loss when it is advanced. To keep your gums healthy, the best way is to clean your teeth at least twice a day, in the morning and before bed.
  • Always try to use the right toothbrush which helps a gentle action, round-headed electric toothbrush if you already use an electric brush. It is very important to clean right down to the gum line, even if your gums are already swollen and bleeding.
  • Moreover, a mouth wash or an antibacterial gel on the sore areas of gums can also be helpful. If you suffer from dry mouth, sugar-free chewing gum can produce more saliva and help clean your mouth.
  • Reducing your sugar ingestion, particularly sweet foods, and drinks in between meals will help lessen plaque and bacteria. Moreover, eating foods comprising vitamin C will also aid gum health.

Areeba Hussain

Areeba is an independent medical and healthcare writer. For the last three years, she is writing for Tophealthjournal. Her prime areas of interest are diseases, medicine, treatments, and alternative therapies. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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