Untreated, bacteria-laden plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth on a daily basis. This accumulation can cause gum inflammation or gingivitis. Gingivitis is the earliest stage of periodontal (gum) disease. If left untreated, the bacteria continue to multiply around your gums and eventually penetrate your gum tissues. This can lead to deeper layers of tissue becoming infected and developing into an advanced infection called periodontitis.
Here are the reasons for gum disease:
Plaque is a soft, sticky biofilm that builds up in the mouth and harbors bacteria that cause gum disease. When you don’t brush and floss regularly, this plaque can build up along the gum line, causing gingivitis. Gingivitis can cause inflammation of the gums and may lead to infection.
Along with brushing twice a day for two minutes at a time and flossing at least once a day, it’s important to see your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. Your dentist will be able to remove stubborn plaque from between teeth that toothbrushes can’t reach. This professional cleaning can also help to reverse early signs of gum disease and minimize the risk of more serious complications.
Smoking is a major contributor to the development of gum disease. In fact, smokers are six times more likely than non-smokers to develop periodontitis or advanced gum disease.
If your loved one smokes, encourage them to talk to their dentist about quitting. Your loved one may be at a higher risk of developing certain health conditions like oral cancer as a result of smoking, but the good news is that stopping smoking can greatly reduce this risk.
Changes in hormone levels throughout life can lead to changes in oral health, including gum disease. As people age, their hormones naturally change. This can cause gum tissue to become more sensitive and make it easier for plaque to build up on the teeth. Menstruation also increases the risk of gum issues for women due to fluctuating hormone levels prior to and the following menstruation.
Hormones can also affect the immune system’s ability to fight infection in the mouth. During puberty, some teenagers experience abnormal cell growth in the gums that can lead to gingivitis, the mildest form of gum disease.
In women, hormonal changes during pregnancy can lead to bleeding and swollen or tender gums. Periodontitis is a type of gum disease that is common during pregnancy due to the effect the changes have on the immune system and the increased levels of progesterone. Treatment may include deep cleanings and antibiotics to control bacteria buildup.
Research suggests that genetics play a major role in the development of gum disease. If your mom or dad has periodontal disease, you are at a higher risk of developing the condition as well. However, lifestyle factors also play a role.
If you have a family history of gum disease, be sure to practice good oral hygiene habits and visit your dentist regularly. These steps will help reduce your risk of getting gum disease.
Schedule an appointment with Allen Creek Dentistry to learn more about gum disease. We are located at 6618 64th St. NE, Suite C, Marysville, WA 98270. Contact the dentist in Marysville, WA, at (360) 651-2900 or visit our website to book an appointment.