What Are the Causes of Gum Disease?

What Are the Causes of Gum Disease?

Posted by Ygnacio Dental Jun 14, 2023

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Are you experiencing bleeding gums, bad breath, or tooth sensitivity? These can be signs of gum disease, a common oral health condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Gum disease may not sound serious at first, but if left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss and other complications. 

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an inflammatory condition that affects the gums and supporting structures of your teeth. It's caused by a buildup of bacteria in the mouth that forms plaque on your teeth.

There are two main types of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease, where inflammation occurs in the gums, but there is no bone loss yet. If left untreated, it can progress to periodontitis which involves damage to both gums and bones supporting your teeth.

What Causes Gum Disease?

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is caused by an accumulation of bacteria in the mouth that leads to inflammation and infection of the gum tissue. Poor oral hygiene habits are a major contributor to this buildup of bacteria.

Plaque, which is a sticky film made up of food particles and saliva, can accumulate on teeth if they aren't brushed or flossed regularly. If plaque isn't removed, it hardens into tartar or calculus, which cannot be removed with regular brushing and requires professional cleaning.

Tartar buildup can cause the gums to pull away from the teeth and create pockets where more bacteria can accumulate. Over time, these pockets become deeper and lead to further damage to the gum tissue.

Other factors that can contribute to gum disease include smoking or using tobacco products, hormonal changes (such as during pregnancy), certain medications that reduce saliva production and genetic predisposition.

In summary, proper oral hygiene practices such as daily brushing and flossing are critical for preventing gum disease. Avoiding risk factors such as smoking and getting routine dental cleanings also play important roles in maintaining healthy gums.

How to Prevent Gum Disease

Preventing gum disease is easier than dealing with it once it has taken hold. Here are some simple steps you can take to keep your gums healthy:

  1. Brush twice a day: This may seem obvious, but brushing thoroughly and regularly is the most effective way to prevent plaque buildup, which leads to gum disease.
  2. Floss daily: Flossing helps remove food particles and bacteria that get trapped between teeth and under the gum line where a toothbrush cannot reach.
  3. Use an antibacterial mouthwash: A good mouthwash can help kill any remaining bacteria in your mouth after brushing and flossing.
  4. Quit smoking: Smoking increases the risk of gum disease by reducing blood flow to your gums, making them more susceptible to infection.
  5. Visit your dentist regularly: Regular dental checkups allow for early detection of any signs of gum disease or other oral health issues before they become serious problems.

By following these simple steps, you can significantly reduce your risk of developing gum disease and maintain healthy gums for life!

With proper care and attention, you can keep your smile looking bright and beautiful for years to come!

Ygnacio Dental is located at 1766 Lacassie Ave, Suite 101, Walnut Creek, CA 94596. Call (925) 280-2848 to schedule an appointment or to learn more tips for improving your oral health.

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