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Gum Disease: Causes, Risk Factors, and Symptoms

What is gum disease?

The gum is a soft mucous tissue that covers the alveolar area of the jaw and protects the roots of the teeth from environmental influences. The normal condition of the gums is a light pink color of the periodontium, the absence of erosions and other neoplasms. Gum disease is a group of diseases characterized by damage to the gum tissue.

Often, unpleasant sensations appear in the oral cavity, indicating the development of the dental disease. Diseases of the soft tissues of the oral cavity are a group of diseases that primarily include periodontitis, gingivitis, and periodontal disease. The pathological process can be concentrated in a certain area of the oral cavity or spread to the entire mucous membrane.

A person has a specific smell from the mouth, he feels pain while eating or talking, bleeding occurs when brushing his teeth. Any gum disease affects the overall well-being of a person.

What are some common gum diseases?


It is the earliest and mildest form of gum disease. With gingivitis, the mucous membrane becomes inflamed pointwise-around a specific tooth. The disease can occur in an acute or chronic form. There are atrophic, catarrhal, ulcerative-necrotic, hypertrophic gingivitis. Regardless of the type of inflammatory processes do not affect the dental tissues, do not destroy the teeth, so it is relatively easy to defeat the disease. It is important to pay attention to gingivitis in time, otherwise, this gum disease threatens periodontitis.


With periodontitis, the supporting apparatus of the tooth, the ligament between the root of the tooth and the bone, is destroyed. The gum gradually "moves away" from the tooth and creates a pocket where food remains accumulate, which cannot be removed independently. There is bleeding, swelling, and excessive sensitivity during chewing. Pus often forms in the pockets, which can be seen if you press on the edge of the gum. The teeth gradually begin to loosen, shift, and if you do not take measures — fall out. In the acute phase, periodontitis can cause general malaise, nausea, weakness, and fever.

Periodontal disease

With periodontal disease, the blood supply to the tissues is disrupted. There is their dystrophy, the necks of the teeth are exposed, the cracks increase. One of the gums gradually rises above the other. At the same time, it does not turn red, does not swell, does not bleed, but simply slowly collapses. The Periodontal disease rarely remains local — it usually affects both jaws at once. It is not easy to overcome the disease. We are no longer talking about local treatment, but about complex therapy.

For each disease, you can identify a group of people who are more susceptible to the problem. So, gingivitis is often diagnosed in children, adolescents, and pregnant women, because hormonal changes in the body stimulate inflammation. Periodontitis is a more "adult" disease. At least because children visit the dentist more often than adults, without bringing the inflammation to an extreme stage. Periodontal disease is a problem mainly of the elderly. The older a person is, the worse the metabolism in the body, the conductivity of blood vessels decreases, and the nutrition of tissues is disrupted. However, each of the three diseases can provoke other reasons that are not related to the age of the patient.

What are the main causes and symptoms of gum disease?

Most often, the cause of most inflammation is poor oral hygiene.

You can contact your dentist for help at any time. However, in the later stages of gum disease, treatment will still be long, painful, and expensive. You can avoid this big problem if you follow the basic rules of oral hygiene and regularly visit the dentist twice a year.

Pain is the main indicator that there is an infection in the gums. This is felt when the process is already active, and the pathogens have settled in the soft, and sometimes in the bone tissues. The first alarm signals should be considered, such tips as:

  • The reaction of the teeth to cold, hot, sour, and sweet food

  • Not infrequently, an unusual or unpleasant smell appears in the mouth

  • Gums become red or swollen

  • When brushing your teeth, even with a soft brush, bleeding occurs

Such symptoms may mean that gingivitis develops in the oral cavity. If left untreated, it can develop into more threatening diagnoses: periodontitis and periodontal disease.

What are the risk factors associated with gum disease?

General factors

  • smoking

  • lack of minerals and vitamins in the body

  • diabetes mellitus

  • hormonal failure

  • infectious processes in the body

  • use of certain medications (for example, antidepressants can have a negative effect)

  • reduced immunity

Local factors

  • teething

  • injuries, thermal or chemical burns of the gums

  • development of tartar

  • poor oral hygiene, accumulation of toxin-releasing microorganisms

red, bleeding gum in the mouth

You may not be aware that gum disease is forming. That's why it's important to have regular dental checkups and cleanings, even when your mouth feels fine. However, if you experience bleeding gums or mouth pain, see our dentists in Norwalk, CT as soon as possible.

Do not hesitate, call us today at (203) 364-5084 or schedule your appointment ONLINE!

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