Gum disease is a dental condition that develops due to poor dental hygiene habits. In this blog, our dentists in Edmonton go into detail about the causes of gum disease and how you can avoid it.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease is also known as periodontal disease. It can be defined as an infection in the bones and soft tissues that support your teeth. When you hear your dentist discussing gingivitis, it's the mildest or most moderate stage of gum disease, which only affects the soft tissues.
This disease in its advanced form infects the supporting structures and bones of your teeth, which could eventually lead to tooth loss if it goes untreated.
What causes gum disease?
A number of factors can add to your risk of developing gum disease, including plaque and bacteria buildup in the mouth, hormonal shifts, smoking, nutritional deficiencies, some prescription medications, uneven teeth, and even genetics.
How can I avoid gum disease?
There aren't any real tips and tricks in terms of avoiding gum disease but, the best way to prevent it is to simply maintain good oral hygiene habits.
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 taking hold.
For example, while you might 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 actually develops comes down to the decisions you make every day about your oral health practices.