What Causes Gum Disease and Gingivitis?
Gum disease is a bacterial infection that destroys the supporting structure of the teeth. If left untreated, it can have a detrimental impact on your oral and overall health in the future. Understanding the causes of gum disease and gingivitis is the first step in protecting your oral health.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease often develops slowly and painlessly. That is why it often goes undetected and untreated in many adults.
Cases of gum disease can vary from mild to severe. There are two common types: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is a milder form of gum disease that results in the inflammation of the gums. Fortunately, it is reversible. Periodontitis however causes inflammation of the gums and bone. Deep pockets between the teeth and soft tissue are formed, which allows bacteria to grow easily. This form of gum disease can lead to significant bone loss and loss of teeth. It not reversible therefore it must be treated early so that the disease process can be controlled.
What is gum disease caused by?
Gum disease is the result of bacteria in dental plaque, which is the sticky substance that forms on your teeth soon after brushing them. When plaque develops between your gums and teeth, bacteria quickly begins to grow. When the plaque extends below the gum line, it can result in an infection.
Your body’s immune system will release substances in an attempt to get rid of the bacteria, but it will inflame and damage your gums in the process. If the gum disease is left untreated, it may eventually turn into a severe case of periodontitis, which is more difficult and time-consuming to treat.
Gum disease can be worsened by a variety of factors, including smoking, poor nutrition, and crowded teeth. People with certain diseases, like uncontrolled diabetes and HIV, are at a higher risk of developing periodontitis.
How can it be treated?
Careful daily brushing and flossing is the key to preventing gum disease, as well as keeping up with regular visits to your dentist.
But, if you think you may have gum disease, then it is best to book an appointment with a periodontist right away. They can diagnose your condition and decide on an effective treatment plan, which may include deep cleaning techniques, medication, or surgical procedures. Gum disease only gets worse when left untreated, so do not hesitate to make an appointment right away.