Having healthy gums is not only important for your oral health, it’s also necessary for your overall health. Certain factors such as excessive tobacco use, malnutrition, poor oral hygiene, poor immunity and dry mouth can actually affect the health of your gums negatively. It is also believed that certain medications, including some types of antihistamines, decongestants and painkillers, promotes gum disease by causing dry mouth. Our saliva have strong natural cleansing and antibacterial properties. The saliva helps to keep our mouth clean and also promotes healthy teeth and gums. However, we’re more likely to have oral problems such as tooth decay and gum disease if the salivary glands is not able to produce enough saliva to keep the mouth wet.
Gum disease on the other hand is a progressive disease, the first stage, called gingivitis, occurs when bacterial plaque is not thoroughly removed from the teeth. Chronic dry mouth, lack of daily brushing and flossing are among the common causes of gum disease.
However, gingivitis can progress into a more serious condition called periodontitis when it is left untreated. Red, swollen and bleeding gums are the earliest signs of gum disease. As the disease progresses, the infection spreads, damaging the bone and supporting tissues, the gums appear to be pulling away from the teeth, your teeth may eventually become loose and need to be treated surgically or removed.
Pictures of healthy gums
Healthy gums will look firm and pink, they fit snugly around the teeth. With healthy gums, your teeth are well supported by the tissue in your gums and your chances for long-term oral health are significantly increased. (1) The two images below are good examples of healthy gums.
Periodontal disease pictures
Gingivitis – The earliest stage of periodontal disease.
Periodontitis – the advanced stage of gum disease.
These images are just to show you how gum disease actually looks like. Luckily, there are available restorative and regenerative techniques to treat severe gum disease and promote healthy gums. Your first step in treating advanced gum disease is a conservative, nonsurgical treatments which includes scaling and root planing. Well, surgical treatments such as gum grafts, periodontal pocket reduction or flap surgery may be needed if there was no improvements after scaling and root planing.
You can read the posts below to learn more on:
- How to treat periodontal disease
- The stages of periodontal disease
- Is periodontal disease contagious?
- Is periodontal disease reversible?