Many Canadian adults experience gum disease, which is most often caused by a lack of proper oral hygiene. Our dentists in Kanata explain how to prevent gum disease and what can be done to treat it.
What Is Gum Disease?
The soft tissues and bones that surround and support the teeth can become infected. This is called periodontal disease, which you might hear referred to by its much more common name, gum disease. It can take several different forms. For example, gingivitis is a mild to moderate type of gum disease that only affects the soft tissues of the mouth and teeth. In more advanced cases of gum disease, the bones and supporting structures of the teeth become infected. Left untreated, this infection can eventually lead to tooth loss.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Bacteria and plaque buildup in the mouth, shifts in hormones, some prescription medications, nutritional deficiencies, uneven teeth, smoking and even genetics can cause gum disease. To reduce your risk of gum disease becoming a problem for you, try to avoid some of the things listed above.
However, you should keep in mind that none of these factors on their cause gum disease to become an issue and spread through the body. Our dentists recommend maintaining a rigorous and thorough oral hygiene routine to make it extremely difficult for gum disease to take hold 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.
If you have uneven teeth, plaque, bacteria, and food debris that accumulates much more easily in the spaces between them, it makes it much more difficult to keep them clean. However, as previously stated, gum disease is unlikely to develop if you are diligent in brushing and flossing your teeth thoroughly, as well as 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 good news because it means that most of the time gum disease is easily prevented by a good oral hygiene routine. While the above-listed issues can increase the risk of gum disease (and make prevention more difficult), it is ultimately up to you whether it develops.
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).