The teeth remain embedded in jawbone which is covered from outside by gums. Healthy gums are coral pink in colour. They remain firmly attached to the underlying bone. Healthy gum can be identified by thin margins firmly adapting over the respective tooth and it does not bleed easily. Gum problems can be divided into two stages:
As mentioned earlier, normal gums are coral pink in colour with the edges firmly attached around the tooth, and does not bleed on normal brushing. The earliest sign of gum inflammation is bleeding from the margins of gums during brushing, without any pain. The margins of gums appear red. If proper brushing is not done, the disease may progress deep inside the gums. They may swell, become soft and bleed even on slightest touch, The bleeding may even occur spontaneously. Even at this late stage, the condition maybe painless. This condition is known is Gingivitis.
If not treated, the disease may progress to involve the surrounding bone, leading to pocket formation around the tooth. Now the disease is called periodontitis or pyorrhea. At this stage, the patient may complain of bleeding, itching sensation and dull constant ache in gums, increased hot and cold sensitivity, food impaction, and even loose teeth. There may be bad odour from the mouth, migration of teeth and exposed root surfaces. Some people may have the urge to dig deep in between the teeth to get relief from the dull ache. All these symptoms suggest that quick attention and professional help is required. If the disease is not treated, ultimately it may result in loss of teeth one after the other. Periodontal disease is the most important cause of tooth loss in our country