Bleeding & Swollen Gums

Bleeding and swollen gums are a result of poor oral hygiene. Due to improper brushing, a layer of plaque accumulates around the teeth thus causing bleeding & inflamation of gums, further resulting in gum disease.

Gums are an important part of mouth, they keep teeth in the socket and ultimately help in chewing. They are like the support system of teeth, without which teeth cannot function. And just like any other part of body they are also prone to infection. You will be surprised to know but there are more than 600 bacterial species in the mouth, all fighting to secure a place for its survival. So imagine how much hard work gums have to do in order to keep teeth secure. Nonetheless, there are various types of infections which can still occur.

The most common type is known as ‘Gingivitis’ which occurs due to deposition of a sticky whitish layer on the teeth, known as ‘plaque’ which if not cleaned properly tends to harden and calcify to form calculus. With time, when a person fails to brush properly or is unable to take care of Gingivitis, the disease advances to ‘Periodontitis’ which is also commonly known as ‘Pyrrhoea’. As food particles, bacterial dead cells deposit and keep on getting hardened, creating a barrier between teeth and gums which attach teeth to bone. As a result, teeth become loose and start moving, there is bone loss due to advanced stage of the disease and ultimately teeth fall. The first sign to look for is bleeding from gums, which can occur during brushing or biting on any hard food stuff. Other sign is swelling of gums and visible hard deposits or calculus on teeth, which are more on the lingual side of the teeth.

There are many other infections such as an abscess formation, Gingival Tumours, Gingival enlargement occurring commonly in patients wearing braces and Gingival diseases modified by systemic conditions such as diabetes, pregnancy, blood dyscrasias or tuberculosis. There are many other diseases which are allergic in nature and some occur due to certain medicines consumed. Gingival disease also occurs in case of malnutrition. In all of these diseases the first sign is swelling and bleeding from gums and the intensity depends upon plaque and calculus deposits. Scientific studies have proven that plaque and calculus deposits can also cause various diseases, as many as 40! Including, heart diseases, lung infections, mental problems, arthritis, Gastro-Intestinal problems, pre-term child birth and even Cancer!

So what can one do if you observe aforementioned signs? The first step is to visit a clinic nearby, and get a professional cleaning, also known as ‘scaling’ of teeth done. Calculus cannot be removed by brushing and professional help is required. The most common query patients have is loosening of teeth after scaling, which is transient and post scaling teeth become stronger as the barrier between the teeth and gums is removed. For Periodontitis usually a surgery is required, depending upon the intensity of the Disease, which is a safe procedure. For other diseases, a visit to the dental surgeon is paramount and diagnosis can only be made after a thorough check-up.

Hence a check-up to your dentist in every 6 months is important for maintenance of good oral health and general well being.

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