The causes of periodontal disease are gingivitis, periodontitis, and periodontal disease. Learn about these types of gum inflammation in our article.
Gum problems are one of the most common reasons for visiting a dental clinic. Patients require treatment for periodontitis, gingivitis, and periodontal disease. What are these conditions and what causes them?
What Causes Gums to Become Inflamed?
The first and most important cause of gum inflammation is poor or irregular dental care. Brushing your teeth daily, rinsing your mouth with special salves and other products can help prevent bacteria from developing. If you brush your teeth “haphazardly,” a lot of germs will accumulate in those hard-to-reach places, and they will eventually find their way into your gums, causing inflammation, which can lead to very serious oral problems, up to and including tooth loss.
Hormonal imbalances and a weak immune system are another fairly common cause. A person is especially vulnerable after an illness, such as flu, smallpox, etc., which directly affects the body and weakens its defenses. Because of this, even with careful and regular brushing, people with a weakened immune system are particularly susceptible to the development of pathogenic oral microflora. Hormone disruptions are observed during pregnancy, during the restructuring of the body during adolescence, and in women during menopause. In addition to basic medical examinations at these times it is also desirable to visit the dentist quite often.
Also the gums can be inflamed in people who are genetically predisposed to it, people with diabetes and gastrointestinal disorders.
Difference Between Gingivitis, Periodontitis and Periodontal Disease
These diseases are directly related to gum inflammation, so some experts even consider them to be successive stages of the same oral disease. They differ from each other primarily in the degree of gum damage.
Gingivitis can be considered the initial stage of inflammation. However, even at this stage, the patient may already feel discomfort. With gingivitis, the gums are swollen, itchy, painful and bleeding, even when lightly pressed. If the condition is left untreated, it can progress to a more severe stage.
The main cause of gingivitis in adults is plaque buildup in places that are not easily accessible for cleaning. Also, in addition to the above general causes of gum inflammation, gingivitis can develop from a lack of vitamin B, C and E in the body, diseases of the cardiovascular system and long-term ingestion of certain types of medications. Primary gum inflammation can be caused by trauma to the gums associated with external injuries, improperly placed crowns, dentures or braces, chemical and thermal burns of the mouth, frequent smoking or drinking alcohol.
Gingivitis can be hypertrophic, common during adolescence, catarrhal, the most common type, ulcerative-necrotic and atrophic. The last two types occur when the disease is extremely neglected. They are characterized by profuse salivation, elevated body temperature and general weakness, severe pain when eating and brushing teeth. Atrophic gingivitis may be caused by the incorrect placement of foreign structures in the mouth (braces, crowns, implants), when the gums are squeezed and there is a violation of blood circulation in them. This can lead to necrosis of the soft tissues in the mouth and loss of teeth.
The next stage of gum inflammation and oral disease can be considered periodontitis. It is characterized not only by swelling, redness and pain in the gums, but also by the gradual destruction of the ligaments of the tooth and bone tissue. The result may be empty cavities between the tooth and gum, purulent discharge from the soft tissues of the mouth, and loose teeth.
Since periodontitis is the second stage of gingivitis, the causes are the same. The disease may be worsened by strong medications such as antidepressants, anti-seizure medications, which can cause hyperplasia of the gums and make oral care much more difficult, resulting in the development of tartar. The disease can also progress rapidly in heavy smokers, as tobacco weakens the immune system’s defenses and reduces the regenerative capacity of cells. Poor saliva secretion and eating too much soft food can also cause periodontitis because the teeth don’t get enough exercise and aren’t cleaned enough naturally.
If not treated and prevented in a timely manner, the disease progresses rapidly.
If the treatment is not performed in time, there is a huge risk of developing periodontal disease.
This stage of oral inflammation is the most severe and dangerous. Periodontal disease used to be widespread, especially among poor people and soldiers who didn’t pay enough attention to hygiene and didn’t get enough vitamins from food. Nowadays, the main cause of the disease is untreated paradontitis. At the same time, their symptomatology differs significantly. In periodontal disease there is no discharge from the gums, they do not accumulate large amounts of plaque. The main outward signs are reduced gum size and widely spaced teeth.
Periodontal disease leads to the destruction of bone tissue, atrophy of the gums, resulting in a person deprived of the ability to eat many products. So there is a lack of many types of nutrients, vitamins and trace elements, which leads to the development of gastritis, ulcers and other gastrointestinal diseases, liver and kidney disease.
Treatment of Gum Inflammation
Many people prefer to first treat with their own strength, using folk medicine methods – decoctions of medicinal herbs, salt, iodine and soda solutions. However, these treatments can often only make the situation worse, because the causes of inflammation of the gums may be deeper and require a comprehensive and systematic approach.
Dental clinics currently offer the following treatment options for inflamed gums:
- Surgery. An incision of the gum is made, and a special tube is inserted into it to drain the pus to the outside. After the surgery, antibiotics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antiseptics for mouthwash, and ointments for treating the stitches are prescribed.
- Treatment of gum inflammation with laser. This method is becoming more and more popular, as it helps avoid soft tissue dissection, does not require a long rehabilitation period and is painless.
- Injections. This is the least effective and the most dangerous method of treatment, since only external symptoms are removed and tissue necrosis is not removed. In addition, it has quite a few contraindications.
Although diseases such as gingivitis, periodontitis and periodontal disease have many causes, the most common is still poor oral hygiene. Therefore, it is especially important to brush your teeth thoroughly and visit your dentist’s office regularly.