What is gum disease?
Periodontal disease is an infection of the soft tissues and bones that surround and support the teeth. It is also known by its much more common name, gum disease. It can come in several different forms.
or example, gingivitis is a mild to moderate form of gum disease that affects only the soft tissues of the mouth and teeth. In more advanced cases of gum disease, the bones and supporting structures of the teeth become infected. If left untreated, this infection can eventually result in tooth loss.
What causes gum disease?
Gum disease can be triggered by various factors such as bacteria, plaque buildup, smoking, hormonal changes, certain medications, nutritional deficiencies, misaligned teeth, and even genetic predisposition. To lower your risk of gum disease, it's advisable to avoid these factors whenever possible.
However, it's important to note that none of these factors alone can solely cause gum disease to develop and spread throughout the body. With consistent and thorough oral hygiene practices, it becomes highly challenging for gum disease to establish itself and progress.
For instance, if you have a genetic predisposition to plaque buildup, maintaining a routine of brushing and flossing twice daily, along with regular dental checkups and professional cleanings, significantly reduces the likelihood of developing gum disease.
In cases of uneven teeth, it becomes more difficult to clean the spaces where plaque, bacteria, and food particles accumulate. Nonetheless, by diligently brushing, flossing, and maintaining regular dental visits, the risk of gum disease can be minimized.
The Most Common Cause of Gum Disease
Whether you are going through hormonal changes like pregnancy, are a regular smoker, or take certain prescription medications, the primary cause of gum disease is the unhindered growth of bacteria and plaque in the mouth.
Fortunately, the good news is that gum disease can usually be prevented with a proper oral hygiene routine. While the aforementioned factors may increase the risk of gum disease and make prevention more challenging, the ultimate development of gum disease is within your control.
The most effective way to prevent gum disease is by brushing and flossing twice a day and scheduling regular dental visits for professional cleanings (typically twice a year for most individuals).