Gum disease is a very common problem among Canadian adults, and it is most often caused by a lack of proper oral hygiene. Our Okotoks dentists discuss how to prevent gum disease and what can be done to treat it.
What is gum disease?
An infection of the soft tissues and bones that support and surround the teeth is known as periodontal disease. Gum disease is another name for it that is much more widely used. It can take a variety of shapes. For instance, gingivitis is a mild to moderate form of gum disease that only impacts the mouth's and teeth's soft tissues. The bones and tooth-supporting structures become infected in more severe gum disease cases. This infection can eventually lead to tooth loss if left untreated.
What causes 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.
But bear in mind, 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.
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.
It is much harder to keep your teeth clean if they are uneven because plaque, bacteria, and food debris can gather there much more readily. However, as previously mentioned, if you are diligent in thoroughly brushing and flossing your teeth as well as seeing your dentist on a regular basis, gum disease is unlikely to develop.
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 shows that gum disease is typically easily avoidable with good oral hygiene practices. The above-mentioned conditions may raise your risk of developing gum disease (and make prevention more challenging), but whether it does so ultimately depends on you.
The best way to prevent gum disease is twice-daily brushing and flossing, and regular visits to your dentist for professional cleaning (for most people, twice a year is should be sufficient).