Among Canadian adults, gum disease is fairly common as a result of poor oral hygiene. Today our Winnipeg dentists discuss why poor oral hygiene causes gum disease and how you can avoid developing this dangerous disease.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is also known as periodontal disease which is an infection within the soft tissues and bones that support the teeth. When your dentist talks about gingivitis they are referring to the mildest or more moderate frons of gum disease when it is only impacting the soft tissues.
As gum disease advances it'll start to infect the supporting structures and bones of the teeth, which can lead to tooth loss if it goes untreated.
The causes Gum Disease
There is a handful of factors that could contribute to your risk of getting gum disease, including a build-up of plaque and bacteria in your mouth, hormonal shifts, smoking, nutritional deficiencies, some prescription medications, uneven teeth, and genetics.
Bleeding gums are a clue that you might have gum disease, which is why you should book an appointment with your dentist if you notice your gums bleeding. Because your mouth contains millions of bacteria, you need to maintain an excellent oral hygiene routine every day to disrupt the bacteria.
If it's left too long, your body will try to rid itself of undisturbed bacteria by sending more blood to your gums. 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 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.
How to Avoid Gum Disease
There aren't any tips and tricks you can use to avoid gum disease. The best way to avoid developing gum disease is to maintain good oral hygiene habits, plain and simple.
None of the above-listed factors alone can cause gum disease to develop and thrive. 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, if you are prone to plaque buildup (perhaps due to genetics), but, you brush and floss your teeth two times a day and visit your dentist as recommended for professional cleanings and checkups, there is a good chance you won't fully develop gum disease.
Whether a pregnancy causes a hormonal shift, you take prescription medication or you 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 actually develops comes down to the decisions you make every day about your oral health practices.