Gum Disease: How To Prevent It And How To Treat It

Gum Disease Is A Common But Serious Condition That Affects Millions Of People Around The World. It Can Cause Pain, Inflammation, Infection, And Tooth Loss If Left Untreated.

But The Good News Is That Gum Disease Can Be Prevented And Treated With Proper Oral Care And Professional Dental Help.

In This Post, We Will Explain What Gum Disease Is, What Causes It, And Why It Is Important To Prevent And Treat It.

We Will Also Cover The Signs And Symptoms Of Gum Disease, The Risk Factors, The Prevention Strategies, And The Treatment Options.

What Is Gum Disease?

Gum Disease, Also Known As Periodontal Disease, Is An Inflammatory Disease That Affects The Hard And Soft Structures That Support The Teeth. It Is Caused By Bacteria That Form A Sticky Film Called Plaque On The Teeth.

Plaque Can Harden Into Tartar If Not Removed By Brushing And Flossing. Tartar Can Irritate And Inflame The Gums, Causing Them To Pull Away From The Teeth And Form Pockets That Can Harbor More Bacteria.

This Can Lead To Infection And Damage To The Gums, The Bone, And The Ligaments That Hold The Teeth In Place.

There Are Two Main Stages Of Gum Disease: Gingivitis And Periodontitis. Gingivitis Is The Mild Form Of Gum Disease That Affects Only The Gums. It Can Cause Redness, Swelling, Bleeding, And Bad Breath.

Gingivitis Can Be Reversed With Proper Oral Hygiene And Professional Cleaning2. Periodontitis Is The Advanced Form Of Gum Disease That Affects The Tissues And Bone That Support The Teeth.

It Can Cause Pockets To Deepen And Teeth To Loosen Or Fall Out. Periodontitis Can Also Increase The Risk Of Other Health Problems Such As Heart Disease, Diabetes, And Respiratory Infections.

Why Is It Important To Prevent And Treat Gum Disease?

Gum Disease Is Not Only A Dental Problem But Also A Health Problem. It Can Affect Your Quality Of Life, Your Appearance, Your Confidence, And Your Overall Well-Being. Gum Disease Can Cause:

  • Pain And Discomfort In Your Mouth
  • Difficulty Chewing And Speaking
  • Tooth Sensitivity And Decay
  • Tooth Loss And Bone Loss
  • Gum Recession And Exposed Roots
  • Changes In Your Bite And Facial Shape
  • Bad Breath And Taste
  • Infection And Abscesses
  • Higher Risk Of Other Diseases Such As Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Alzheimer’s Disease, Pregnancy Complications, And Some Cancers

Therefore, It Is Important To Prevent Gum Disease From Developing Or Progressing By Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene Habits, Visiting Your Dentist Regularly For Check-Ups And Cleaning, And Seeking Treatment As Soon As You Notice Any Signs Or Symptoms Of Gum Disease.

Signs And Symptoms Of Gum Disease

The Signs And Symptoms Of Gum Disease May Vary Depending On The Stage And Severity Of The Condition. Some Of The Common Signs And Symptoms Include:

  • Red, Swollen, Or Tender Gums
  • Bleeding Gums When Brushing Or Flossing
  • Bad Breath Or Bad Taste That Persists
  • Loose Or Shifting Teeth
  • Receding Gums Or Longer Appearing Teeth
  • Pus Between Your Teeth And Gums
  • Changes In Your Bite Or How Your Teeth Fit Together
  • Pain When Chewing Or Biting

If You Notice Any Of These Signs Or Symptoms, You Should See Your Dentist As Soon As Possible For Diagnosis And Treatment. Early Detection And Intervention Can Help Prevent Further Damage To Your Gums And Teeth.

Risk Factors For Gum Disease

Some People Are More Prone To Developing Gum Disease Than Others Due To Certain Factors That Can Increase Their Susceptibility To Bacterial Infection And Inflammation. Some Of These Risk Factors Are:

  • Poor Oral Hygiene: Not Brushing Twice A Day With Fluoride Toothpaste, Not Flossing Once A Day, Not Using An Antibacterial Mouthwash, Or Not Cleaning Your Tongue Can Allow Plaque And Tartar To Accumulate On Your Teeth And Gums.
  • Smoking: Smoking Reduces Blood Flow To Your Gums, Making Them More Vulnerable To Infection And Less Able To Heal. Smoking Also Affects Your Immune System’s Ability To Fight Bacteria. Smoking Is One Of The Most Significant Risk Factors For Gum Disease.
  • Diabetes: Diabetes Affects Your Body’s Ability To Use Sugar (Glucose) For Energy. High Blood Sugar Levels Can Damage Your Blood Vessels And Nerves, Impairing Blood Flow To Your Gums. Diabetes Also Makes It Harder For Your Body To Fight Infection And Inflammation. People With Diabetes Are More Likely To Have Gum Disease And More Severe Gum Disease Than People Without Diabetes.
  • Hormonal Changes: Hormonal Changes During Puberty, Pregnancy, Menopause, Or Oral Contraceptive Use Can Affect Your Gums’ Sensitivity And Response To Plaque. Hormonal Changes Can Make Your Gums More Prone To Swelling, Bleeding, And Infection.
  • Medications: Some Medications Can Affect Your Oral Health By Causing Dry Mouth, Reducing Saliva Flow, Or Altering The Balance Of Bacteria In Your Mouth. Some Medications Can Also Cause Your Gums To Overgrow Or Become Inflamed. These Medications Include Some Antihypertensives, Anticonvulsants, Immunosuppressants, And Calcium Channel Blockers. If You Are Taking Any Of These Medications, You Should Inform Your Dentist And Follow Their Advice On How To Care For Your Gums.
  • Genetics: Some People Have A Genetic Predisposition To Gum Disease Due To Inherited Traits That Affect Their Immune System, Inflammatory Response, Or Oral Microbiome. If You Have A Family History Of Gum Disease, You Should Be Extra Vigilant About Your Oral Hygiene And Dental Visits.

If You Have Any Of These Risk Factors, You Should Consult Your Dentist About How To Prevent Or Manage Gum Disease.

You Should Also Try To Reduce Or Eliminate These Risk Factors By Quitting Smoking, Controlling Diabetes, Brushing And Flossing Daily, Or Changing Your Medications If Possible.

Prevention Strategies For Gum Disease

The Best Way To Prevent Gum Disease Is To Keep Your Teeth And Gums Clean And Healthy. This Can Be Achieved By Following These Simple Steps:

  • Brush Your Teeth Twice A Day With Fluoride Toothpaste For At Least Two Minutes Each Time. Use A Soft-Bristled Toothbrush That Fits Your Mouth And Replace It Every Three Months Or Sooner If The Bristles Are Frayed. Brush All Surfaces Of Your Teeth And Gently Massage Your Gums. Don’t Brush Too Hard Or Too Fast As This Can Damage Your Enamel And Gums.
  • Floss Your Teeth Once A Day To Remove Plaque And Food Particles From Between Your Teeth And Under Your Gum Line. Use About 18 Inches Of Floss And Wrap It Around Your Middle Fingers. Gently Slide The Floss Between Your Teeth And Curve It Around Each Tooth. Move The Floss Up And Down, Scraping The Sides Of Each Tooth. Don’t Snap The Floss Into Your Gums As This Can Cause Bleeding And Irritation.
  • Use An Antibacterial Mouthwash After Brushing And Flossing To Kill Bacteria And Reduce Plaque In Your Mouth. Choose A Mouthwash That Contains Chlorhexidine, Cetylpyridinium Chloride, Or Essential Oils As These Ingredients Have Proven Antiplaque And Antigingivitis Effects. Rinse With About 20 Ml Of Mouthwash For 30 Seconds And Spit It Out. Don’t Eat Or Drink Anything For At Least 30 Minutes After Using Mouthwash.
  • Chew Sugar-Free Gum After Meals Or Snacks To Stimulate Saliva Production And Wash Away Food Debris And Plaque From Your Teeth. Choose A Gum That Contains Xylitol As This Natural Sweetener Can Inhibit The Growth Of Bacteria That Cause Gum Disease. Chew For At Least 20 Minutes After Eating Or Drinking.

In Addition To These Oral Hygiene Practices, You Should Also Make Some Lifestyle Changes That Can Benefit Your Gum Health. These Include:

  • Eating A Balanced Diet Rich In Vitamins And Minerals That Support Your Immune System And Tissue Repair. Include Foods Such As Fruits, Vegetables, Nuts, Seeds, Lean Protein, Dairy Products, Whole Grains, And Healthy Fats In Your Daily Meals. Avoid Foods That Are High In Sugar, Starch, Acid, Or Salt As These Can Damage Your Enamel And Feed The Bacteria That Cause Gum Disease.
  • Drinking Plenty Of Water Throughout The Day To Keep Yourself Hydrated And Prevent Dry Mouth. Water Can Also Help Rinse Away Food Particles And Plaque From Your Teeth And Gums. Aim For At Least Eight Glasses Of Water A Day Or More If You Exercise Or Live In A Hot Climate.
  • Avoiding Tobacco Products Such As Cigarettes, Cigars, Pipes, Chewing Tobacco, Or Snuff As These Can Harm Your Gums In Many Ways. Tobacco Can Reduce Blood Flow To Your Gums, Impair Healing, Increase Plaque Accumulation, Stain Your Teeth, Cause Bad Breath, And Increase The Risk Of Oral Cancer. Quitting Tobacco Can Improve Your Oral Health And Overall Health Significantly.

Treatment Options For Gum Disease

The Treatment Options For Gum Disease Depend On The Stage And Severity Of The Condition. The Main Goal Of Treatment Is To Control The Infection And Restore The Health Of Your Gums And Teeth. The Treatment Options May Include:

Home Remedies

For Mild To Moderate Cases Of Gingivitis, You May Be Able To Treat Gum Disease With Some Home Remedies That Can Help Reduce Inflammation And Infection. These Include:

  • Tea Bags: Steep A Tea Bag In Boiling Water For 2-3 Minutes, Remove It, And Let It Cool Until You Can Handle It Comfortably. Hold The Cooled Tea Bag On The Affected Area Of Your Gums For About Five Minutes. The Tannic Acid In The Tea Bag Can Help Relieve Gum Infection.
  • Turmeric Gel: Apply A Thin Layer Of Turmeric Gel To Your Gums And Leave It For 10 Minutes. Rinse With Warm Water. Turmeric Has Anti-Inflammatory And Antioxidant Properties That Can Help Heal Your Gums And Prevent Further Damage2.

These Home Remedies Are Not Substitutes For Professional Dental Care. They Are Only Meant To Provide Temporary Relief And Support Your Oral Hygiene Routine. You Should Still See Your Dentist For Diagnosis And Treatment If You Have Gum Disease.

Professional Treatments

For More Advanced Cases Of Periodontitis, You May Need Professional Treatments That Can Help Restore Your Gum Health And Save Your Teeth. These May Include:

  • Scaling And Root Planing: This Is A Deep Cleaning Procedure That Involves Removing Plaque And Tartar From Above And Below The Gum Line And Smoothing The Root Surfaces To Help The Gums Reattach To The Teeth. This May Require More Than One Visit To Your Dentist And Local Anesthesia To Numb Your Gums.
  • Antibiotics: Your Dentist May Prescribe Oral Or Topical Antibiotics To Help Control The Bacterial Infection In Your Mouth. Oral Antibiotics Are Pills Or Capsules That You Swallow, While Topical Antibiotics Are Gels, Strips, Or Chips That Are Applied Directly To Your Gums Or Placed In The Pockets Between Your Teeth And Gums.
  • Flap Surgery: This Is A Surgical Procedure That Involves Lifting Back The Gums To Expose The Roots And Bone. Your Dentist Will Remove Any Plaque And Tartar From Under The Gums And Reshape Or Replace Any Damaged Bone. Then, The Gums Will Be Sutured Back In Place To Fit Snugly Around The Teeth.
  • Bone Grafts: This Is A Surgical Procedure That Involves Using Natural Or Synthetic Bone Material To Replace Any Bone That Has Been Lost Due To Gum Disease. This Can Help Restore The Stability Of Your Teeth And Provide A Foundation For New Bone Growth.
  • Dental Implants: This Is A Surgical Procedure That Involves Replacing Missing Teeth With Artificial Ones That Are Attached To Metal Posts That Are Implanted Into Your Jawbone. Dental Implants Can Look And Function Like Natural Teeth And Prevent Further Bone Loss.

These Professional Treatments Are More Invasive And Costly Than Home Remedies. They May Also Involve Some Risks And Complications Such As Bleeding, Infection, Pain, Swelling, Or Nerve Damage.

Therefore, You Should Consult Your Dentist About The Benefits And Drawbacks Of Each Treatment Option Before Deciding Which One Is Best For You.


Gum Disease Is A Serious Condition That Can Affect Your Oral Health And Overall Health. It Can Cause Pain, Infection, Tooth Loss, Bone Loss, And Increased Risk Of Other Diseases If Left Untreated.

However, Gum Disease Can Be Prevented And Treated With Proper Oral Care And Professional Dental Help.

The Key To Preventing Gum Disease Is To Keep Your Teeth And Gums Clean And Healthy By Brushing Twice A Day With Fluoride Toothpaste, Flossing Once A Day, Using An Antibacterial Mouthwash, Chewing Sugar-Free Gum, And Visiting Your Dentist Regularly For Check-Ups And Cleaning.

You Should Also Avoid Smoking, Control Diabetes, Eat A Balanced Diet, Drink Plenty Of Water, And Reduce Stress.

The Key To Treating Gum Disease Is To Control The Infection And Restore The Health Of Your Gums And Teeth By Using Home Remedies Or Professional Treatments Depending On The Stage And Severity Of The Condition.

You Should See Your Dentist As Soon As You Notice Any Signs Or Symptoms Of Gum Disease And Follow Their Advice On How To Improve Your Oral Hygiene Habits And Which Treatment Option Is Best For You.

Gum Disease Is Not A Hopeless Situation. You Can Prevent It And Treat It With Some Simple Steps And Some Help From Your Dentist.

By Taking Good Care Of Your Gums, You Can Also Take Good Care Of Your Smile And Your Health.

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