Many Canadian adults will experience gum disease in their lifetime. Poor oral hygiene can lead to gum disease. In this post, our Abbotsford dentists explain how this occurs, and what actions you can take to avoid the condition.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease (also known as periodontal disease) is an infection of the soft tissues and bone supporting the teeth. When your dentist talks about gingivitis, this is the mildest or moderate type of gum disease. Only soft tissues are affected.
In more advanced cases of the disease, the bones and supporting structures of the teeth are impacted. Left untreated, this can eventually lead to tooth loss.
What causes gum disease?
A number of factors can contribute 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.
What can I do to avoid gum disease?
There are no real 'tips and tricks' when it comes to avoiding gum disease. The best way to avoid developing gum disease is to maintain good oral hygiene habits, plain and simple.
For gum disease to thrive, two or more of the factors listed above must be in play. If you maintain a thorough, rigorous oral hygiene routine, it will be very difficult for gum disease to begin to take hold.
For example, while you may 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 oral health practices.