Gum disease is a common condition that affects the gums and can cause severe problems if not caught early and treated. Understanding what causes gum disease and what risk factors increase your chances of developing it is essential.
In this article by Eriks Dental Group, we will discuss the different causes of gum disease, the associated risk factors, and how to prevent and treat this condition.
Causes of Gum Disease
The following are the top causes of gum disease:
1. Poor Dental Hygiene: Poor oral hygiene is the number one cause of gum disease. Plaque and tartar build-up on your teeth can lead to an infection in the gums, known as gingivitis. This infection can worsen over time if not treated properly.
2. Smoking: Smoking can increase your risk for gum disease. The chemicals in cigarettes and cigars can irritate your gums and make them more prone to infection.
3. Diet: Eating a diet high in sugar or starches can increase bacteria, which increases the risk of developing gum disease.
4. Genetics: Some people may be more genetically predisposed to develop gum disease than others.
5. Plaque and Tartar Buildup: After eating, bacteria can accumulate on your teeth and form a sticky substance known as plaque. Plaque can harden into tartar if not removed with brushing and flossing. Tartar build-up leads to an increase in bacteria around the gums, which can cause inflammation and infection.
Risk Factors for Gum Disease
Certain factors increase your risk of developing gum disease. These include:
- Genetics: One of the most significant risk factors for gum disease is genetics. Specific genes may make it more likely for you to develop the condition. Genetics can also influence the severity of your gum disease.
- Age: Age is another risk factor for gum disease. Older adults are more likely to suffer from this condition due to a decreased ability to fight off infection.
- Smoking or Tobacco Use: Smoking or using tobacco products can increase your risk of developing gum disease as the chemicals in these products can irritate the gums and make them more prone to infection.
- Poor Nutrition: Eating a diet high in sugar or processed starches can increase bacteria, which increases your risk of gum disease.
- Chronic Illnesses: Certain chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, can weaken your immune system, making it more difficult for your body to fight off infection and increasing your risk of gum disease.
- Stress: Stress is another risk factor for gum disease. Stress can weaken your immune system and make it more difficult to fight off infections, increasing the risk of gum disease.
- Hormonal Changes: Changes during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause can increase your risk of gum disease.
How To Prevent Gum Disease
The best way to prevent gum disease is to practice good oral hygiene. This includes brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day and using an antiseptic mouthwash. You should also visit your dentist regularly for dental cleanings and check-ups, as they can identify any signs of gum disease early on and provide treatment if necessary.
Quitting smoking or using tobacco products is also essential for reducing your risk of gum disease. Eating a healthy, balanced diet and managing chronic illnesses can also help to reduce your risk. Finally, reducing stress is important as it can weaken your immune system and make it more difficult to fight off infections.
Following good oral hygiene habits and visiting your dentist regularly can help prevent or manage gum disease. With the right treatment, gum disease can be managed and even reversed in some cases.
Dental Services In Boynton Beach
If you’re concerned about gum disease, don’t wait for a preventable condition to worsen. Get checked by an experienced and caring team at Eriks Dental Group to properly diagnose and treat your gum health.
Our leading dental professionals use the most advanced methods in dentistry to identify the type of gum disease and recommend the best possible treatment for you. We are highly committed to helping patients achieve healthier gums and mouths with successful results from our treatments.
Don’t suffer from complications of untreated gum disease. Contact us online to learn more, schedule an appointment, or speak to one of our friendly staff.