What are Gum Diseases?

Gum disease is caused by an infection in the soft tissue around the teeth. Not giving enough importance to oral hygiene is the basis of gum diseases. However, even with proper brushing and flossing, some people may encounter gum disease more easily due to the predisposition of their mouth and tooth structures. 

It usually presents with swollen, reddened and bleeding gums. If left untreated, gum recession, loosening of the pockets surrounding the teeth, tooth decay and loss of bone structure may occur. 

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease occurs as a result of inflammation of the tissue surrounding and supporting the teeth. Bleeding in the gums when brushing teeth, and bad breath are the first signs of gum disease. After the first stage, receding gums begin to appear. The teeth that become evident due to gingival recession first become loose. In the following processes, it may cause tooth and bone loss. It is also possible to say that gum diseases can lead to diseases such as heart disease and oral cancer. 

Symptoms of Gum Diseases

Symptoms may differ depending on the stage of gum disease. In its early stages, symptoms are mild. They become more pronounced as the disease progresses. Symptoms that indicate a disease in the gums first begin with gingivitis. Symptoms that occur as gum disease progresses can be listed as follows: 

  • Teeth tenderness and bleeding when brushing or flossing,

  • Swelling, redness and pain in the gums,

  • Tartar formation on the tooth surface.

More serious problems may follow gingivitis when treatment is delayed. In particular, bleeding in the gums, bad breath, changes in jaw position, and receeding gums can be seen.

Gum bleeding is a less common symptom in smokers. This is because nicotine hides the symptoms of the disease by its effect on blood vessels. 

What are the Types of Gum Diseases?

Gum diseases, which are manifested by various variations, can be classified as mild and severe according to their level. It may not be easy to detect gum diseases in the early stages. Therefore, regular dental examinations are of great importance to prevent gum disease. Types of gum diseases are listed below. 

Gingivitis (Gum Inflammation)

The most common gum inflammation is gingivitis. It is usually caused by poor oral hygiene. In gingivitis, redness and swelling of the gums can be seen. Gums tend to bleed easily. Although the gums are irritated, tooth extraction, bone or tissue damage has not yet occurred in this type of gum disease. Gingivitis can be treated by gaining the habit of gum treatment and regular oral hygiene. 


When gingivitis is not treated, the next gum disease, periodontitis, occurs. As the bacteria progresses towards the roots of the teeth, the connection of the root with the gingiva weakens and causes a space called a periodontal pocket to form between the tooth and the gingiva. This pocket is an ideal place for harmful bacteria to collect and multiply. This triggers the body's defense mechanism with bacteria, and releases harmful toxins. 

It is possible to see recession in the gums due to the deepening of the pockets. Such a situation can dislocate the teeth. Also, the infection can cause bone loss. 

There are 2 types of periodontitis. These are as follows:

  • Aggressive Periodontitis: It is known as a gum disease in which genetic factors are effective among gum diseases.

  • Chronic Periodontitis: It is the most common form of gum disease. It is characterized by pocket formation or gingival recession. Bone loss can be observed with inflammation of the supporting tissues of the teeth.

Periodontal Abscess

Infection in the bones and tissues that support the teeth is called periodontal abscess. It is usually painful. It is a disease that needs to be treated, and can cause various diseases by affecting other parts of the body. Pain may radiate to the ear, jaw, or neck due to the affected tooth or gum. 

How is Gum Disease Treated?

There are many methods for the treatment of gum disease. Depending on the stage of the disease, the effect of previous dental treatments, and the general health of the patient, the methods to be chosen for gum treatment will vary. Treatments; While it may require a surgical method, various precautions can be tried to be taken with non-surgical treatments. 

Non-surgical gum treatments are as follows:

Dental Cleaning

In the early diagnosis of gum diseases or in the first stage of gingivitis, the situation can be corrected by paying attention to oral hygiene, and professional tooth cleaning.

Scaling and Root Planning

It is a deep cleaning application for teeth. Cleaning is done by reaching the plaque, and tartar accumulated under the gum line. Thus, it is possible to remove bacteria from the gums. 

Antibiotic Treatment

It is preferred in order to remove the bacteria that cause gum disease from the gums. 

Surgical treatments for gum diseases are as follows:

Flap Surgery

Flap surgery, which we call pocket reduction surgery; It includes applications such as removal of gingival tissue, more effective scaling and exposing the roots. Bone is reshaped. 

Soft Tissue Grafts

This method is used to strengthen the soft tissue lost due to gingival recession. Gum loss is reduced, and is preferred to improve appearance. 

Bone Grafts

It is the treatment of gum disease that is applied if there is damage to the bone around the root of the tooth. Thus, tooth loss is controlled, and bone growth is encouraged.

Tissue Regeneration

It is an application performed to stimulate the growth of bone and gingival tissue with a biocompatible material placed between the bone and tooth.

What are the Causes of Gum Diseases?

Bacterial infection and its effects are the main causes of gum disease. In addition to these, there are various factors that cause the infection to adhere to the gums and progress over time. These can be listed as follows:

  • Poor oral care: Infrequent or improper brushing and flossing

  • Inadequate dental cleaning: Inadequate dental cleaning at home in case of impacted teeth

  • Bad eating habits: Lack of proper nutrition

  • Smoking: Decreased ability of tissues to resist infection as it slows blood flow

  • Systemic health problems: Diabetes, respiratory diseases, cardiovascular diseases and various autoimmune disorders

  • Other health problems: Insufficient salivation

  • Hormonal changes

  • Genetic predisposition

How to Prevent Gum Diseases?

Gum diseases can be prevented with regular and proper oral hygiene. In some people, gum disease can be caused by genetics or other health conditions. For this reason, a dental check-up to the dentist every 6 months plays an important role in preventing gum diseases. The basic elements of oral hygiene to be considered in order to prevent gum diseases can be listed as follows: 

  • Teeth should be brushed at least twice a day for at least two minutes.

  • Care should be taken to use dental floss to clean the residues left between the teeth. After brushing the teeth, antiseptic mouthwashes can be used to prevent plaque accumulation.

  • If there are crooked teeth, fillings, crowns and dentures, it is important to be more careful when cleaning around them.

Optimal oral hygiene can vary from person to person. Your dentist will inform you about which techniques are best for you. By considering risk factors such as systemic diseases, quitting smoking, healthy diet, avoiding stress, and regular oral hygiene can be supportive in preventing gum diseases.