What is gum disease?
The soft tissues and bone that support the teeth are infected by gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. Gingivitis, which only affects soft tissues, is the most mild or moderate form of gum disease that your dentist will likely refer to.
More advanced forms of the disease infect bones and supporting structures of the teeth. This can eventually lead to tooth loss if left untreated.
What causes gum disease?
Your risk of developing gum disease can be influenced by a variety of things, such as hormonal changes, smoking, nutritional deficiencies, some prescription medications, uneven teeth, hormonal changes, and even genetics.
If you notice that your gums are bleeding, you should make an appointment with your dentist as this could be a sign that you have gum disease. To prevent the millions of bacteria in your mouth from multiplying, practice excellent oral hygiene every day.
If you leave it for too long, your body will try to rid itself of any remaining bacteria by sending more blood to your gums. Swelling, soreness, bleeding, and redness may result from the excess blood. Your body believes it has an infection, which is known as gingivitis, and it will not heal until the source of the infection is removed.
Bacteria can be found in plaque, tartar, or calculus, pockets beneath the gums (in advanced gum disease cases), cavities, abscesses, and chipped teeth. They may also hide in old dental work, as dental repairs create an edge or margin to which bacteria can adhere.
What can I do to avoid gum disease?
There are no real 'tips and tricks' when it comes to avoiding gum disease. The best way to avoid developing gum disease is to maintain good oral hygiene habits, plain and simple.
Gum disease cannot form and spread on its own as a result of any of the factors mentioned above. It will be very difficult for gum disease to begin to spread if you keep up a strict and thorough oral hygiene regimen.
For instance, even if you have a genetic propensity for plaque buildup, as long as you brush and floss your teeth twice a day and go to the dentist as recommended for routine professional cleanings and checkups, it's likely that gum disease won't be able to fully develop.
Whether a pregnancy causes a hormonal shift, you take prescription medication, or you smoke regularly, the most common cause of gum disease is the unchecked development of bacteria and plaque in the mouth.
Gum disease is usually preventable with a good oral hygiene routine. While the issues listed above can increase your risk (and make prevention more difficult), whether it develops is determined by the decisions you make every day about your oral oral health practices.