Our mouth is occupied by tons of bacteria. These bacteria with food particles and saliva form a sticky substance around our teeth, known as plaque.
If you brush and floss your teeth regularly, you remove this plaque every day. However some of it remains in your mouth and with time forms a hard substance on your teeth called tartar. Tartar cannot be removed by brushing. It requires professional cleaning by the dental hygienist to remove it. Normally tartar can cause inflammation process in your gums attached to the teeth base. If left for a long time untreated, it may lead to more serious consequences like gum disease (periodontitis and gingivitis).
Inflammation processes in your gums can lead to gingivitis. If left untreated, gingivitis leads to a more serious form or gum disease – periodontitis. This is when your gum tissue starts recessing and pockets are formed. Formation of pockets can eventually lead to the loss of tooth.
Keep reading to learn in details what causes gum disease and how to prevent it.
Of course plaque is the main cause of the gum disease. However other factors can contribute to it as well.
Pregnancy or menopause cause hormonal changes in a woman’s body, which make gums more sensitive and prone to bacteria. Such hormonal changes contribute to development of gum disease.
Genetic predisposition is another reason that can cause the gum disease. If you have a family history of dental diseases this is one of the conditions for developing this problem yourself. So you should be extra careful and pay more attention to your gums and dental hygiene.
Poor oral hygiene habits like not brushing your teeth regularly may lead to gingivitis.
Smoking is another risk factor for developing a gum disease.
Some diseases that affect immune system like HIV and cancer, as well as diabetes, increase risk of developing infections, including cavities and periodontal disease.
Some medications affect oral health as they lessen the natural flow of saliva, which in turn causes abnormal growth of bacteria in your mouth and may lead to development of gingivitis.
Treatments of gingivitis and periodontal disease consist of improving your teeth cleaning techniques, medications and in some serious cases, a surgery may be required.
In any case, you need to consult your dentist in case you suspect you might have a gum disease.