What are the Main Causes of Gum Disease?

Gum disease is a bacterial infection of the gums that affects the teeth. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease.

It causes the gums to become inflamed and produces symptoms that include swollen, red and bleeding gums.

The good news is that gingivitis can get treated if you act early. But if you fail to treat gingivitis, it will lead to a more advanced gum disease called periodontitis.

At this stage, you will start to lose teeth and suffer toothaches. When a dentist diagnoses a patient with periodontitis, their recommended treatment solution is usually periodontal surgery.

Most people fear this procedure the most because it is costly and highly uncomfortable. Fortunately, there is an alternative treatment solution for periodontitis called LANAP (or Laser-Assisted New Attachment Procedure).

It is a procedure which can restore healthy gums without the use of scalpels or stitches. Visit a dentist to find out more information about the treatment and how to correctly take care of your gums.

Below are the seven most common causes or risk factors of gum disease.

1) Plaque

Plaque accumulation is the number one cause of gum disease. Plaque is bacteria that sticks to your teeth and gums.

If you do not brush your teeth or rinse your mouth daily, then plaque will build on your teeth and gums. It will eventually lead to gingivitis and periodontitis.

We all have bacteria in our mouths. But when you eat foods rich in carbohydrates, they leave sugars and starches on your teeth and gums.

If you do not remove these elements soon after you eat, the bacteria in your mouth will cling to them.

Plaque produces acids as it absorbs sugars and starches, which breaks down the enamel of your teeth. Do yourself a favour and brush your teeth after each meal or snack.

2) Pregnancy

Women are often surprised at how pregnancy can have an impact on their oral health. Since pregnant women have erratic hormonal shifts, it increases their chances of developing gum disease.

Does this mean that most pregnant women develop gum disease? No, but they must take better care of their oral health during their pregnant months.

Some pregnant women tend to get puffy and red gums, which are temporary symptoms that will go away fast. But if toothaches or gum bleeding occur, it means something more serious.

If you are a pregnant woman, make sure you attend your dental appointments just to be safe. Then keep brushing, rinsing and flossing each day to prevent gum disease.

3) Tobacco Consumption

If you smoke or chew tobacco-based products, your gum tissue cells become negatively affected.

These are the cells that function to prevent oral infections. If those cells are disturbed or compromised, it increases the odds of gum disease. That is why you should never smoke cigarettes or chew tobacco.

You probably know the dangers of tobacco consumption. Besides the risk of lung cancer, tobacco can cause gum disease too.

Is the risk worth the temporary buzz feeling you get from tobacco consumption? No way.

4) Crooked Teeth

Crooked teeth do not just look unattractive. They pose a significant threat to your oral health. When you have overlapping teeth in your mouth, it creates more space for plaque to accumulate.

As plaque builds in between your teeth, it poses a greater risk to your oral health. Unless you want to get braces for your teeth to realign them, you should focus on brushing and flossing your teeth daily. Keep the bacteria out of those unusual spaces in between your teeth.

5) Low Water Consumption

Water helps wash down the food contaminants in your mouth. If you do not drink much water, it will be easier for sugars and starches to build in your mouth.

As you already know, these are the things that cause plaque and gum disease. Drinking water will wash them down your gut, so they do not stay in your mouth.

There are so many reasons why drinking water is essential. Preserving oral health is one of those reasons.

6) Genetics

Sometimes you cannot do anything about gum disease. If several other members of your biological family have gotten gum disease, then you have an increased chance of getting it too.

Genetics can have positive and negative effects on your life. You cannot do much about them except to stop the negative things from getting worse.

If you take excellent care of your teeth and gums, it is your best chance of preventing gum disease.

7) Prescription Medications

Prescription medications have all kinds of chemical ingredients in them. Many of these ingredients cause people to experience unwanted symptoms, such as dry mouth and reduced saliva production.

If you experience these symptoms, the bacteria in your mouth will spread faster. Always pay attention to the possible side effects of any prescription medication that you are supposed to take.

Talk about those side effects with your doctor. If any of the side effects affect your gums or teeth, perhaps your doctor will offer you a better alternative treatment.




Elaine Allen
the authorElaine Allen