Gum disease is a very common problem among adults and it is most often caused by lacklustre oral hygiene. In today's post, our dentists at Family Dental Care - Specialty in Prince George explain how to prevent gum disease and how it can be treated.
How Gum Disease Affects Your Oral Health
Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is an infection of the soft tissues and bones that surround and support the teeth. This common condition can come in several different forms including mild to moderate gingivitis which affects only the soft tissues of the mouth and teeth, and more advanced periodontal disease that infects the bones and supporting structures of the teeth. If gum disease is left untreated, this infection can result in tooth loss.
General Causes of Gum Disease
Gum disease can be caused by a variety of factors, including bacteria and plaque buildup in the mouth, smoking, hormonal shifts, some prescription medications, nutritional deficiencies, uneven teeth, and even genetics. To reduce your risk of developing gum disease, try to avoid some of the things listed above.
However, it is important to understand that none of these factors can, on their own, cause gum disease to develop and spread throughout the body. As long as you maintain a rigorous and thorough oral hygiene routine, it will be extremely difficult for gum disease to establish a foothold and spread.
For example, you may be genetically predisposed to plaque buildup; however, if you brush and floss twice a day, in addition to visiting your dentist at prescribed intervals for a professional cleaning and checkup, the likelihood of developing gum disease is reduced.
If you have uneven teeth, plaque, bacteria, and food debris that accumulates much more easily in the spaces between them, it makes it much more difficult to keep them clean. However, as previously stated, gum disease is unlikely to develop if you are diligent in brushing and flossing your teeth thoroughly, as well as visiting your dentist on a regular basis.
The Most Common Cause of Gum Disease
Whether you are experiencing a hormonal shift (perhaps a pregnancy), are a regular smoker, or take a prescription medication, gum disease is ultimately caused by the unimpeded development of bacteria and plaque in the mouth.
This is actually good news because it means that most of the time gum disease is easily prevented by a good oral hygiene routine. While the above-listed issues can increase the risk of gum disease (and make prevention more difficult), it is ultimately up to you whether it actually develops.
The best way to prevent gum disease is twice-daily brushing and flossing, and regular visits to your dentist for professional hygiene cleanings about twice a year.