Gum Disease Question

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Senior Member
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15+ Year Member
Sep 11, 2003
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Hi all,

I know very little about teeth so i figure this is the right place to ask. My question is about Gum Disease.

1. What are the signs of having gum disease?
2. Can you treat gum disease on your own? i mean, like at home without going to a dentist? (silly question, i think)
3. I know gum disease results in loosing your teeth, but could you perhaps be more technical about explaining the physiology of it.
4. Is periodontal disease same as gum disease?
5. How can i take care of my gum properly?
6. what does it mean when your gum looks kind of white before you go to sleep? Not really white, but looks kind of pale white after i brush it.

I'm worry that i might have gum disease so i have some questions about it. If anyone would answer the questions above, i would really appreciate it:cool:



Class '04 official geezer
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Jul 24, 2002
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Well... "gum disease" is a rather generic term. There are many disorders of the gums ranging from your run-of-the-mill plaque-mediated gingivitis to autoimmune diseases such as cicatricial pemphigoid.

If what you are asking about is the common plaque-mediated gingivitis, yes, it can be prevented by proper brushing and flossing. Remove the soft, white sticky film of plaque full of germs and toxins, and gums will become healthier and less inflammed. It's also recommended that you go to a dentist every 6 months for a regular checkup and cleaning to clean out hard-to-reach spots.

Periodontitis can be a result of poor oral hygiene-induced gingivitis, yes. The difference between periodontitis and gingivitis is that periodontitis involves loss of the bone supporting teeth and consequent loss of attachment of teeth to the bone (which is why teeth becomes loose in periodontitis). Periodontitis requires professional dental treatment such as removal of hard crusty tartar (we call it "calculus") which is impossible to remove by brushing and flossing alone.

What causes plaque-mediated gingivitis to turn into periodontitis is the accumulation of bacteria and toxins in the plaque and calculus. The bacteria releases toxins and metalloproteinases which causes inflammation and the destruction of collagen fibers under your gumline, deepening the pockets where the gums meet up with tooth and causing attachment loss.

How to prevent tartar from forming in the first place? Remove the soft plaque before it becomes calcified and hard and crusty by thoroughly brushing and flossing your teeth with the proper technique at least 2x a day (a dentist will be able to demonstrate the proper technique for you during your regular checkup visit).