How to Avoid Gum Disease Gingivitis and Periodontitis

Dental Decay and Gum Disease

There very many people with the problem of bad breath, gum problems and tooth decay. Dental decay and a gum disease called gingivitis are today the most prevalent diseases in man. Immediately after birth, the mouth contains many kinds of bacteria. A few of these bacteria are harmful to man. The harmful bacteria will constantly keep on forming a sticky film called plaque on the teeth and gums. When we eat sugary food, the sugar combine with plaque and plaque becomes even more harmful. Plaque is also harmful by itself if allowed to remain on the teeth for more than a day. When sugar is taken into the mouth in the form of either food or drink, it is immediately absorbed by saliva, which then attaches itself to the sticky film of plaque.

Calculus or Tartar is Hardened Plaque

Plaque is that sticky feeling on your teeth when you wake up in the morning. If plaque is not removed daily by brushing, it eventually hardens into calculus or tartar. Once calculus forms it can only be removed by your dentist or hygienist with special tools. If you would remove plaque or calculus from teeth completely, both decay and gum disease would stop. This is because gum disease is caused by plaque. Gum disease is therefore inflammation of the gums due to plaque.

Advanced Gingivitis

Gingivitis Progresses to Periodontitis

Bad Breath

Gum disease gingivitis is naturally a very slow process that usually takes very many years to reach a degree at which teeth are lost. During all these years, the gum is usually inflamed with gingivitis. If not corrected early, gingivitis will progress into a stage of advanced gingivitis called periodontitis. At periodontitis stage, even a high quality tooth brush may not control the disease because of the amount of calculus accumulated around the teeth. At periodontitis stage, the bacteria in the calculus start producing waste products which create toxins and volatile sulfur compounds. These toxins and volatile sulfur compounds are the one responsible for the bad breath.

Demineralization Can Be Reversed

The composition of plaque is a mixture of bacteria, saliva proteins, bacterial glues, and water which forms on any hard surface in the mouth. Sugar makes this mixture thicker and stickier. Plaque is always forming all the time on our teeth. What makes the difference is how we brush our teeth. The acids produced in plaque de-mineralize the tooth surface by dissolving the crystals in it. In the early stages of tooth decay, demineralization can be reversed if plaque is regularly removed efficiently and foods with a lot of sugar are avoided.

Teeth Brushing and Flossing is to Remove Plaque

To remove plaque from your teeth, brush your teeth after every meal. Brushing your teeth before meal is equally important if you are only interested in teeth decay prevention and not gums disease. If the plaque is removed from the teeth before eating, any sugar in the food taken after brushing will remain as sugar because there are no bacteria on the teeth surface to turn that sugar into acid. Teeth brushing and flossing is mainly to remove plaque and not necessarily to remove food particles.

Dental Floss for Supplemental Brushing

Dental floss, a strong nylon thread specially made for the purpose of cleaning in-between teeth where a toothbrush does not reach, can be used for supplemental brushing. Ask your dentist how to go about using a dental floss - they can damage the gums.

Gingivitis Progresses to Periodontitis

Gum disease gingivitis is naturally a very slow process that usually takes very many years to reach a degree at which teeth are lost. During all these years, the gum is usually inflamed with gingivitis. If not corrected early, gingivitis will progress into a stage of advanced gingivitis called periodontitis. At periodontitis stage, even a high quality tooth brush may not control the disease because of the amount of calculus accumulated around the teeth. At periodontitis stage, the bacteria in the calculus start producing waste products which create toxins and volatile sulfur compounds. These toxins and volatile sulfur compounds are the one responsible for the bad breath.

Gum Disease has Four Stages

There are four stages in the progression of gum disease:

  1. The plaque lying on the teeth next to the gums causes them to become red, slightly swollen, rounded ana shiny, liable to bleed when brushed but without pain. These changes up to this stage can be reversed, and the gum made healthy by removing plaque completely every day.
  2. After some months or years of this inflammation, the plaque lying on the teeth will cause the uppermost fibres between the root and bone to rot, and this will be followed by the loss of the bone to which they were attached. The gum pocket will also become deeper as the bone levels fall. The gum remains red, swollen, and liable to bleed when brushed. At this stage there is still no pain. This is reversible if you can remove the plaque everyday. This will make the gums perfectly healthy again, although you will not regain the bone, and the gum should shrink to a new healthy shape slightly lower on the tooth.
  3. After many years without good plaque removal, a lot of bone has been lost and the gum shrunk down. The gum pocket has therefore become much deeper. Because of the bone loss, the tooth may start to feel a little loose, and front teeth sometimes start to drift. Redness, swelling and bleeding continue, but there is still no pain. Removing the plaque every day is still the first step to retrieving the situation, but you should now be under the active care of a dentist who can provide special gum treatment and supervise you.
  4. This is the final stage of gingivitis, periodontitis. It occurs after years without plaque removal and gum treatment. Most of the bone has, by now, been lost around many of the teeth, so some of teeth are loose and starting to hurt. This takes you to the dentist, and he suggests that the teeth should be removed, because they are past saving or you need dentures. Since you are in pain and probably getting a bad taste in the mouth, you will only be too happy to agree.

Let Your Children Reap the Benefits

This is the order Gum Disease Gingivitis and periodontitis occurs. It might be happening to you right now. It should not happen to you if you start removing plaque properly before it is too late. You now have the knowledge. Do not allow it to happen to your children. Let your children reap the benefits of the knowledge you have gained on how to avoid gum disease gingivitis and periodontitis as well as tooth decay. The trick is early detection of gum disease, good professional care, and proper oral hygiene with oral health care products available in the market should guarantee a lifetime of healthy teeth and beautiful gums.

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Comments 6 comments

Chef Jeff profile image

Chef Jeff 8 years ago from Universe, Milky Way, Outer Arm, Sol, Earth, Western Hemisphere, North America, Illinois, Chicago.

I've always been blessed with excellent teeth, and I appreciate that and floss, brush and take care of my teeth & gums. I get regular check ups and also check my gums for cancer, which can happen to anyone.

Great hub!


BLESSING OKONOBOH 8 years ago

Hello,read your article,very educative.Keep it up.Thanks.


platinumOwl4 profile image

platinumOwl4 6 years ago

Did you suggest bone regeneration. It is possible that a person save their teeth with the right professional. I am correct, right?


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 6 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

Great hub and advice! I have been suffering for years with bad teeth and now after having periodonitis I have lost two that had to be taken out. I have others that are loose and fortunately not getting any worse but they can't get any better either now as the gum disease has stopped! It is depressing losing your teeth though!


insik_kayin 6 years ago

Hello I read your article it's very informative all right! I now got tips for my dad regarding his developing Periodontal Disease. I was wondering though, with regards to his worn out teeth maybe one should consider Composite Fillings as well as a constant visits to once dentist and get a Dental Cleaning, Prevention & Exam.


drsohel profile image

drsohel 5 years ago from Dhaka, BD

I've read the article. It'll be very helpful for many people. Regular brushing and flossing teeth and scrapping tongue prevents gum disease. Flossing teeth and scrapping tongue regularly are the two most neglected part of our oral hygiene routine.

Take action and prevent gum disease.

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