The Most Common Cause of Gum Disease

Gum disease is a very common problem among Canadian adults, and it is most often caused by a lack of proper oral hygiene. Our Grande Prairie dentists discuss how to prevent gum disease and what can be done to treat it.

What is gum disease?

Periodontal disease is an infection of the soft tissues and bones that support and surround the teeth. Periodontal disease is another name for it that is frequently used. It can take many different shapes. For instance, gingivitis is a mild to moderate form of gum disease that only affects the soft tissues and teeth in the mouth. The bones and structures that support the teeth become infected in more severe cases of gum disease. If this infection is not treated, tooth loss may eventually occur.

What causes gum disease?

Numerous things, including oral bacteria and plaque buildup, smoking, hormonal changes, some prescription medications, nutritional deficiencies, uneven teeth, and even genetics, can result in gum disease. Try to stay away from some of the things on the above list to lower your risk of developing gum disease.

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.

Plaque, bacteria, and food debris accumulate much more easily in the spaces between uneven teeth, making it much more challenging to keep them clean. However, as stated previously, gum disease is unlikely to develop if you are diligent about brushing and flossing your teeth and visiting your dentist regularly.

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 encouraging news because it shows that gum disease can be avoided by consistently practising good oral hygiene. The decision to develop gum disease ultimately rests with you, even though the aforementioned factors can increase the likelihood of gum disease (and make prevention more challenging).

The best way to prevent gum disease is twice-daily brushing and flossing, and regular visits to your dentist for professional cleaning (for most people, twice a year is should be sufficient). 

If you have any questions about the causes of gum disease, as well as about proper brushing and flossing techniques, please don't hesitate to contact our Grande Prairie dentists today.

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