Many Canadian adults deal with gum disease, which is most often caused by a lack of proper oral hygiene. Our dentists in Dawson Creek explain how to prevent gum disease and what can be done to treat it.
What is gum disease?
Periodontal disease infects the soft tissues and bones that support and surround the teeth. Also referred to under the common name gum disease, it can occur in several different forms. For example, gingivitis is a mild to moderate type of gum disease that only impacts the mouth's soft tissues and teeth. In more advanced cases of gum disease, the teeth's bones and supporting structures become infected. Left untreated, this infection may eventually result in tooth loss.
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, 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.
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, sometimes resulting in the need for periodontal therapy), 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).