Facebook Pixel

The Basics of Gum Disease

By HERWriter
Rate This

Hormones – Particularly for women, the soft tissue (gums) in the mouth may react to the hormonal changes at the onset of puberty, menopause or pregnancy. In fact, recent studies show that pregnant women with periodontal disease are seven times more likely to deliver preterm, low-weight babies!

Diabetes – Diabetics are at a higher risk of developing infections (including periodontal disease). If a diabetic’s body is busy fighting off an infection, it may impair their body’s ability to process and use insulin.

Types of Gum Disease

There are two main types of periodontal disease: gingivitis and periodontitis.

Gingivitis is a condition that affects the “gingiva” or gums, also known as soft tissue. Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease and is usually manifested in red, swollen, and tender tissues, and bleeding of tissues during brushing, eating, and flossing.

Periodontitis develops when gingivitis is left untreated and when plaque spreads below the gum line. When this happens and the body starts reacting to the infection, both tooth and gum tissues start to break down leading to gum recession, root canals, extractions, or tooth loss.

Symptoms of Gum Disease

If you experience any of these symptoms, either one or several, report them to your dentist immediately.

- red, swollen, tender gum tissue
- bleeding while brushing, flossing, or eating
- gum recession (where the gum pulls away from a tooth, making it appear longer than normal and maybe exposing the root)
- loose teeth
- persistent bad breath (which is caused by bacteria)

Treatment for Gum Disease

The most common treatment for periodontal disease is scaling and root planing. During this procedure a hygienist or dentist will scrape below the gum line to clean away any plaque and calculus (tartar or hardened plaque) out of the pockets that have developed as a result of the presence of bacteria. They may also follow up with anti-bacterial rinses.

For many patients this will be sufficient and aside from having to be more diligent in their brushing and flossing will likely not have another flare up.

Add a Comment4 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Hi Darlene,Your article is very interesting.I ve undergone a root planning treatment long ago.But i found in the following link that there are many more treatments coming out for the purpose of serving gum diseases.May be you could see the link below,
Thanks for sharing great information.

August 12, 2009 - 12:19am
HERWriter (reply to Anonymous)

Thank you. I will look that information up. That's one of the great things about a network like this. Without really knowing we end up expounding on someone else's information, or we can link people with new information.

August 12, 2009 - 4:32am
EmpowHER Guest

I found your article interesting and very informative. I have found some interesting information on the subject of Gum dieses at www.americasholisticdentist.com

August 4, 2009 - 12:29pm
HERWriter (reply to Anonymous)

Thank you. These are by no means the only treatments available. They are just the more conventional dental treatments. I will be examining some of these surgeries in more detail in future articles.

August 4, 2009 - 12:49pm
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Gum Disease

Get Email Updates

Related Topics

Gum Disease Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!