What Causes Gum Disease?

Gum Disease

Gum disease is a problem that plagues many American adults. There are two major forms of gum disease, specifically gingivitis and periodontitis. It can be quite serious to be diagnosed with these dental problems, and you may wonder what even caused your gum disease in the first place. There are certain risk factors of which you should be aware.

Gum diseases are generally caused by a buildup over time of bacteria between your teeth and below your gum line. The bacteria combined with other debris, forms a substance that is known as plaque. Plaque can harden and lead to the formation of tartar on your teeth. Tartar can lead to larger problems, including gum diseases, such as gingivitis and periodontitis.

Gingivitis is the first gum disease you can develop. It occurs when bacteria causes inflammation in the gums, resulting in the gums being red and swollen. One of the sure signs of gingivitis is that your gums bleed easily.

Fortunately, it is the more-mild-form of gum disease that can easily be reversed if you diligently brush your teeth at least twice per day and also floss daily. Of course, you should also visit your dentist on a regular basis.

Periodontitis is more serious. It causes pain and swelling of the gums, which comes as a result of bacteria building up below the gum-line. The worst aspect of periodontitis is that it can lead to bone-loss of the enamel in your teeth, which is irreversible. In the worst case scenario, you can even lose teeth.

Individuals with gingivitis can develop this more serious gum disease if they do not seek treatment and take measures to improve their oral hygiene. However, while you cannot recover bone loss from periodontitis, you can prevent further damage by flossing, using a prescription mouthwash from your dentist and by getting a root planning. A root planning is a procedure in which your gum-line is numbed and scraped free of plaque at your dentist’s office.

There are certain risk factors that come into play that can lead to the development of gum disease. Some of these are avoidable, while some are not. Smoking, taking certain medications, diabetes, other illnesses, hormonal changes in females and a genetic predisposition are all contributors. In addition, not flossing can easily result in gum disease.

In general, gum disease usually doesn’t manifest until you reach your thirties or forties. Men tend to be more likely than women to develop it, but it can certainly be reversible or even stopped in many instances.

If you are a resident of the St. Petersburg, FL area and are in need of dental assistance, visit Daxon Dentistry today.