Gum disease is very common especially in the special needs population. It’s usually caused by poor oral hygiene and even certain medications. Luckily, with improving oral hygiene, the majority of the time gum disease can be reversed. Sometimes, it can become very severe and becomes what is called Periodontitis. Periodontitis is not reversible, however with certain medications and treatment, the severity can be greatly decreased.
Plaque resides on the surface of your teeth and when it is not removed, it can harden to form calculus. The longer it stays on your teeth, the more harmful it becomes. The plaque and calculus accumulate harmful bacteria that can harm the gums. Gingivitis is a milder form of gum disease and can be reversed by proper oral hygiene. Daily brushing and flossing will keep the plaque off the surface of your teeth. Periodontitis is a more advanced stage of gum disease. At this stage, the disease can start affecting not only the gums, but the bone supporting the teeth. If no treatment or improvement in oral hygiene is performed, eventually teeth can become mobile and eventually will fall out. It is so easily preventable so all you need to do is brush your loved one’s teeth so you never have to worry about this!
- Sensitive teeth
- Bad breath that won’t go away
- Loose teeth
- Swollen gums
- Receding gums or longer appearing teeth
- Good daily care at home
- Deep cleaning- which is a cleaning done only by a dentist or a hygienist that have special tools that allow them to clean below the gum line
- Medication depending on severity
If you think your loved one has gum disease, be sure to visit his or her dentist. And remember, it is very preventable and with a little improvement in brushing and oral hygiene you can completely control it!