Many Canadian adults deal with the very common problem of gum disease, which is most often caused by a lack of proper oral hygiene. Our dentists in Pembroke and Deep River explain how gum disease can be prevented and list treatment methods.
What is gum disease?
The teeth are surrounded and supported by soft tissues and bones, which can become infected by periodontal disease. Also known by the more common term of gum disease, it can take several different forms. For example, the mild to moderate form of gum disease is gingivitis, which affects only the soft tissues of the mouth and teeth. During more advanced stages of gum disease, the teeth's supporting bones and structures become infected. Left untreated, this can eventually lead to tooth loss.
What causes gum disease?
A variety of factors can contribute to gum disease, including plaque buildup and bacteria in the mouth, nutritional deficiencies, uneven teeth, some prescription medications, hormonal shifts, smoking and even genetics. To decrease your risk of developing gum disease, try to avoid some of the things listed above where possible.
However, remember that none of these factors can cause gum diseases to develop on their own and spread throughout the body. As long as you maintain a thorough and consistent oral hygiene routine, it will be extremely difficult for gum disease to establish a foothold and spread.
For example, you might be genetically predisposed to buildup of plaque. However, if you brush and floss twice a day, along with seeing your dentist at the recommended prescribed intervals for a professional cleaning and checkup, your likelihood of developing gum disease will drop.
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 a professional cleaning (for most people, twice a year is should be sufficient).