What are loose gums?
The gums are attached to the teeth at the junction of crown and root. There is a small gap in between the tip of the gums and tooth surface. It is around 1-3 mm and is normal. The problem begins when you don’t maintain the teeth and gums appropriately. There will be accumulation of small food debris, bacteria. The constant deposition of foreign materials leads to irritation of gums. The inflammation of gums is called gingivitis.
There are various stages of gingivitis:
1.Early stage: mild swollen appearance of gums at the margins
2.Mild stage: reddish appearance of gums
3.Moderate stage: bleeding from gums on provocation with brush or hard food
4.Severe stage: spontaneous bleeding from gums and swelling in the gums
5.Very severe stage: swelling and bleeding accompanied by loss of the level of gum tissue.
The gingivitis is followed by periodontitis. The periodontium is the next layer to get infected after gingivitis.
There are various stages of periodontitis:
1.Mild periodontitis – Loss of gum and exposure of tooth surface
2.Moderate periodontitis – Loss of gum, exposure of tooth root, development of slight loosening of tooth.
3.Severe periodontitis – Loss of gum, exposure of tooth root, considerable movement of teeth.
4.Very severe periodontitis – All the above features along with pus discharge from the tooth sulcus.
How does the loose gums affect the patient?
You may have any one or all of the features of gum infection. Bleeding from gums on brushing, bleeding from gums on eating hard food, bad breath, red coloured gums, loosening of teeth, food getting lodged in between teeth and gums, dull itchy sensation in all the gums, pus discharge from the gums, sensitivity of teeth.
How does your dentist diagnose?
Based on the history and symptoms, your dentist will correlate with the appearance of gums. Your dentist uses special instrument called as william’s probe to measure the level of infection in the gums. X-rays will help a lot to know the impact of gum infection on the tooth and surrounding bone.
Complications of gum infection:
- Loss of tooth
- Discomfort on eating
- Pus discharge from gums
How are the loose gums treated?
Your dentist will categorise the severity of the gum infection. The treatment would vary from patient to patient. They can include:
The suitable treatment to you will be assessed by your dentist. Early attention and good oral hygiene maintenance will help you in having healthy gums.