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How your tongue might be affecting your chances of gum disease

June 25, 2021

Gum disease is a detrimental side-effect of poor oral hygiene. While we all know that a regular oral hygiene routine including brushing your teeth, flossing, and visiting the dentist twice a year; what most of us don't realize is how much of a role our tongue plays in our oral health! Our tongue not only can harbor bacteria that lead to bad breath but it can also be a vessel for troublesome bacteria to fester. This bacteria can easily interact and erode your enamel and even lead to gum disease. That's why it is important to take the necessary steps to ensure that we have a clean and healthy tongue.

Gum diseases

 Gums are soft tissues supporting the tooth with the bone. Gums diseases cause mobility of tooth and ultimately tooth loss. 

Typical features of gum diseases are:  

  • Swollen gums 
  • Bleeding from gums 
  • Sensitivity 
  • Bad breath 
  • Loosening of teeth
  • Tooth loss 

Common gums diseases

The most common gums diseases are 

  • Gingivitis 
  • Periodontitis 
  • Gingival and periodontal abscess 

What the are common causes of gums disease?

Gums disease is usually caused by bacterial infections. Poor oral hygiene is of one the most important predisposing factor causing gum disease. It is always important to implement a daily oral hygiene routine as well as visit your dentist at least twice a year for checkups and cleanings to ensure that your smile doesn't deteriorate!

Other factors include 

  • Very aggressive tooth brushing resulting trauma to gums
  • Any systemic disease with oral manifestations 
  • Tongue and lips piercings resulting trauma to gums

What are effects of tongue on gums disease 

  • In normal individuals tongue is usually in harmony with gums and does not cause any disease. As in normal individuals tongue position do not interfere with gums tissue, there are very limited chances of gums diseases due to tongue. 
  •  But individuals with tongue piercings are significantly prone to gums diseases as compared to other individuals.
  • Tongue piercings may interfere with gums tissue and causes trauma to the gums. Continuous trauma leads to loss of gums around the tooth exposing root of tooth. Exposed roots are more sensitive to hot and cold. Persistent pressure may cause loosening of teeth and ultimately causing tooth loss.
  • In some individuals with compromised immune system, oral cavity and particularly tongue harbor more bacteria than normal individuals,  these bacteria can cause gums diseases. In normal individuals bacteria are present in oral cavity but when its quantity exceeds certain limits, it causes gums diseases. 
  •  Certain studies questioned the effects of very thick and bulky tongue on gum disease.  But there is very limited data available on this. Majority of researchers believe that it has no significant effects on gums disease..

Prevention of gums diseases

Gums tissue have very good regeneration capabilities, if causative factors are removed, gums can heal to normal level very quickly. 

  • Remove tongue piercings if any. Or correct interference causes by piercings. 
  • If patients is immunocompromised treat the underlying condition. 
  • Most importantly,  improve oral hygiene. Tooth brushing twice a day with proper brushing technique and use dental floss for interdental cleaning. 

Treatment of gums diseases 

 Gums disease requires immediate intervention for good prognosis. Here at Anthem Dentistry our specialists panel provide comprehensive treatment strategies. 

The treatment plan majorly includes

  • Removal of causative factors 
  • Scaling and root planning 
  • Flap surgery 
  • Gingival grafts.

For further information contact us and book your appointment at Anthem dentistry.