Gum disease is a very common health issue affecting Canadian adults and is most often caused by importer oral hygiene. Our Camrose dentists explain how to prevent gum disease and what can be done to treat it.
What is gum disease?
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is an infection of the bones and soft tissues that surround and support teeth. It comes in numerous forms. Gingivitis is a mild or moderate form of periodontal disease that only affects the soft tissues of the mouth and teeth. In more advanced cases, the bones and supporting structures of teeth may become infected. If this isn't promptly treated, this infection may even lead to the loss of teeth!
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.
Keep in mind that none of these factors on their own cause gum disease to develop and spread. As long as you keep up good oral hygiene, it will be very difficult for gum disease to establish a foothold in your mouth.
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, bacteria, plaque and food debris that builds up in the spaces between your teeth, it can make it much more difficult for you to clean them properly. As previously stated, however, gum disease is unlikely to develop if you are diligent in flossing and brushing your teeth thoroughly in addition to visiting the dentist in 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 quite good news! It means that most gum disease is easily prevented by good oral hygiene. While the above issues can increase the risk of gum disease (and make prevention a difficult process), it is ultimately in your hands whether it develops or not
The best way to prevent gum disease is twice-daily brushing and flossing, and regular visits to your dentist for a professional cleaning (for most people, twice a year is should be sufficient).