The Department of Periodontology is a branch of dentistry that examines the health of the hard and soft tissues around the teeth and implants, and aims to diagnose and treat the disease of these tissues and protect the health obtained after treatment.
What do healthy gums look like?
Health gums have an appearance that does not bleed spontaneously or during brushing / flossing, with a light pink color, tight consistency, not swollen, thinning on the tooth surface like a knife ridge.
Why do gum diseases occur?
In every individual, accumulation of a soft bacterial layer called microbial dental plaque is observed on all tooth surfaces, between teeth and at the tooth-gum junction. When this plaque cannot be removed sufficiently with a toothbrush and dental floss, an environment that allows harmful bacteria species to survive, and harmful bacteria gradually multiply. Harmful substances produced by bacteria cause inflammation in the gums and the melting of the bone surrounding the teeth. In addition, microbial dental plaque hardens over time and turns into tartar. More plaque accumulates on the calculus, which has a rough structure and the progression of gum disease is accelerated.
What are gum diseases and how are they determined?
Gum disease always starts with simple gingivitis (gingivitis). Bleeding in the gums is the most obvious finding. If left untreated, it may progress to severe infections (periodontitis) in which the jaw bones melt and teeth are lost by shaking. With the disease, the gums swell, redden, bleed and recede. Teeth lengthens, teeth change place, gaps occur, teeth start to swing, bad breath occurs. Smokers experience less bleeding due to the effects of nicotine on the veins, which can mask the disease and prevent it from being noticed.
Are there any other causes of gum disease?
Although the main cause is microbial dental plaque, diseases such as smoking, diabetes and hereditary factors are risk factors that facilitate the emergence of the disease.
Is there a link between gum disease and overall health?
In many ways, the mouth is a mirror of the body’s overall health. Although gum diseases are mainly caused by plaque accumulation on the teeth, some systemic diseases affect the surrounding tissues. Uncontrolled diabetes increases the severity of gum disease. On the other hand, gum diseases threaten the general health. The emergence mechanisms of periodontal diseases and heart diseases are similar, and the rate of heart attack in people with oral infections is 25% higher than those without infection. In patients with uncontrolled diabetes, gum treatment has a positive effect on diabetes. In addition, gum disease can cause problems such as premature birth and low birth weight in pregnant women.
Is gum disease hereditary?
Some gum diseases are inherited. Some people are more prone to gum disease. However, gum disease can be prevented in most individuals with good oral care and regular dentist control.
What Causes Gum Bleeding?
Gingival bleeding may occur in physiological conditions in healthy individuals, as well as as a harbinger of serious health problems. In this direction, the conditions that cause gum bleeding can be summarized as follows:
Oral hygiene habits; It is one of the most common causes of gum bleeding. In this sense, gums can be damaged and bleed due to a variety of reasons such as using excessively hard toothbrushes, wrong and pressurized tooth brushing, or not providing adequate oral hygiene, not regularly brushing teeth, changing the usual dental health practices, using different dental health products.
Dentures or dentures; If it is not suitable for the mouth structure, it damages the gums and causes bleeding.
There is a predisposition to gingival bleeding as there is an increase in gingiva and blood supply due to hormonal changes during pregnancy.
Gingivitis; means inflammation of the gum. In this sense, in case of inflammation of the gums due to various reasons, the gingiva becomes fragile and becomes susceptible to bleeding.
Periodontitis; It is the inflammation of the periodontal tissue that connects the tooth to the jaw bones and gingiva around it. Inflammation of the area due to dental caries or gingivitis can result in bleeding due to damage to the vessels in this area.
Bleeding disorders; Intense gingival bleeding may occur even after a simple food intake, especially in those who are prone to bleeding due to various reasons such as hemophilia disease or low platelet count in the blood.
In diabetes or diabetes, the gums lose their normal tissue properties and become prone to bleeding.
Vitamin deficiencies; It is a risk factor for gingival bleeding, especially as the gums are damaged in case of vitamin C and K deficiencies. Vitamin C is indispensable for the health of the connective tissues of the teeth, jaw bones and gums. Bleeding disorder develops in vitamin K deficiency.
Nutrition habits; Gingival bleeding may develop as a result of improper consumption of crusted or hard foods that can damage teeth and gums.
Smoking causes the gum tissue to be damaged and prone to bleeding.
In blood diseases such as leukemias, the thrombocyte count decreases seriously, causing a tendency to bleeding.
Chronic diseases such as liver or kidney failure create a bleeding disorder.
Medication side effects; Various drugs, especially blood thinners such as aspirin or coumadin, have side effects that cause bleeding disorders.
How Does Gingival Bleeding Go?
Gingival bleeding treatment is primarily planned for the underlying cause. However, prevention of gum bleeding is possible with some measures to be applied at home. In this sense, “How to prevent gum bleeding?” Answers to the question and solutions to gum bleeding can be listed as follows:
Good oral hygiene is essential in prevention and treatment. The points to be considered here are to gain the habit of brushing teeth at least 2 times a day and for two minutes, to use daily dental floss and to avoid behaviors that will disrupt oral hygiene. In this way, the risk of plaque formation and inflammatory disease development in the tooth and surrounding tissues will be reduced.
People should prefer a toothbrush with a hardness and design suitable for their mouth structure. It is recommended that especially those with edematous gum complaints prefer soft toothbrushes. Alternatively, electric toothbrushes can be used to maintain effective oral hygiene.
Antiseptic mouthwashes can also be used to ensure maximum oral hygiene. In this way, the risk of plaque development is minimized.
Since bleeding and swelling of the gums are closely related, gargling with warm salty water can help remove edematous gums and reduce the risk of bleeding gums.
When gingival bleeding occurs in those who wear dentures or prostheses, it should be evaluated whether the apparatus is suitable for the mouth structure by contacting a specialist dentist.
Going to the annual dentist examination is very important in order to maintain dental and oral health.
By paying attention to nutritional habits, consumption of food with a consistency, hardness or temperature that may impair dental and oral health should be avoided. In addition, since consuming foods rich in carbohydrates or sugars will increase the risk of harmful microorganisms in the mouth and increase the risk of gingivitis, it is extremely important to gain a poor diet habits as much as possible.
Taking plenty of fluids is another important point in preventing the proliferation of oral microorganisms. Drinking plenty of water stimulates saliva secretion and prevents dry mouth and therefore inflammation.
Habits that disrupt oral health such as smoking and alcohol should be abandoned.
In order to prevent vitamin deficiencies, it is recommended to consume foods containing vitamin C and K vitamins. In this sense, citrus fruits and juices such as lemon, orange and grapefruit, broccoli, strawberry, tomato and potato are rich in vitamin C. Spinach, lettuce, chard, watercress, soybean, olive oil and canola oil contain plenty of vitamin K.
In case of gingival bleeding during sleep, underlying gum diseases such as gingivitis, periodontitis, or health problems such as the contraction of the jaw muscles during sleep and the exposure of the tooth to pressure and trauma are suspected. In this sense, a competent dentist should be consulted in the presence of such a complaint.
In certain cases, “Does gingival bleeding have anything to do with the heart?” The question may come to mind. If gingival bleeding is not resolved, the risk of developing infective endocarditis increases significantly with the increase in the amount of oral microorganisms, especially in people with heart valve problems. Therefore, it is very important for patients with high risk of infective endocarditis, such as heart valve problems, to approach gum problems more sensitively.
Unlike these precautions, in the presence of an underlying gum problem, an oral examination should be performed by a competent dentist, and appropriate treatment should be initiated for the detected problem. Accordingly, antiseptic mouthwashes and antibiotic treatment can be prescribed for inflammatory problems such as gingivitis or periodontitis. In addition, cleaning the inflamed area and performing surgical procedures if necessary may also be discussed.
In case of systemic problems such as bleeding disorder, chronic diseases, diabetes that cause gum bleeding, it is necessary to apply to a health institution to be evaluated by a specialist physician.