What is gum disease and what does it affect?
If you suffer from poor oral hygiene then you may develop gum disease which, if left untreated, can potentially lead to bone loss. When you hear your dentist talking about gingivitis, this is the most mild or moderate form of gum disease, and it only affects soft tissues.
More advanced forms of the disease infect bones and supporting structures of the teeth. The infection of the bone can lead to the loss of bone which in turn can cause tooth loss in patients.
What are the potential causes of gum disease?
When it comes to gum disease there is no single cause, there are likely a number of contributing causes including plaque and bacteria buildup in the mouth, hormonal shifts, smoking, nutritional deficiencies, some prescription medications, uneven teeth and even genetics.
any signs of bleeding gums should be evaluated by a dental professional as soon as possible as this is a sign of gum disease. Your mouth contains millions of bacteria, and great oral hygiene every day is a must - to disrupt the bacteria.
When you have a build-up of bacteria infecting the gums they will bleed and your body will send more blood to continue to try and clear away any bacteria and infection. The excess blood may cause swelling, soreness, bleeding and redness. Your body thinks it has an infection - this is called gingivitis, and it won't heal until the source of the infection is eliminated.
Bacteria can be found in plaque, tartar or calculus, pockets beneath the gums (in cases of advanced gum disease), cavities, abscesses and chipped teeth. They may also hide in old dental work, as repairs to your teeth create an edge or margin that bacteria can adhere to.
What are some ways to avoid gum disease?
the only sure way to help prevent gum disease is to focus on a rigorous brushing and flossing routine along with professional cleanings and examinations.
If you maintain a rigorous and thorough oral hygiene routine, it will be very difficult for gum disease to start to take hold.
For example, while you may be prone to plaque buildup (perhaps due to genetics), as long as you brush and floss your teeth twice a day and visit your dentist as prescribed for regular professional cleanings and checkups, chances are that gum disease will not be able to fully develop.
Whether a pregnancy causes a hormonal shift, you take prescription medication or are a regular smoker, the most common cause of gum disease is the unimpeded development of bacteria and plaque in the mouth.
Most of the time, gum disease can be easily prevented with a good oral hygiene routine. While the issues listed above can increase your risk (and make prevention more challenging), whether it develops comes down to the decisions you make every day about your oral health practices.