Many people live with gum disease without realising they have it and nearly 50 percent of American adults age 30 and older have some form of gum disease.
There are a variety of reasons that gum disease can occur and if left untreated, gum disease can cause severe damage to the teeth and gums and become painful and difficult to treat.
Attending regular dental appointments with your dentist will reduce your chance of unknowingly living with gum disease and will enable you to receive an effective treatment quickly.

What is gum disease?

Gum disease, medically known as periodontal disease, is an infection that surrounds the teeth and causes gums to recede and become swollen and sore. It develops when plaque, the sticky coating on the teeth that contains bacteria, builds up.
Plaque is removed by cleaning your teeth on a regular basis. If the teeth aren’t cleaned properly, plaque builds up, hardens and becomes tartar. Tartar is the leading cause of gum disease and if not effectively treated, tartar can cause gums to become bloody and sore and teeth to come loose and fall out.
Gum disease can damage the periodontal ligament and the alveolar bone. These are the two structures that support your teeth.

What are the other causes of gum disease?

Although plaque is the number one cause of gum disease, there are several other things that can lead to periodontal disease developing.

These include:

  • Smoking

    Smoking causes damage to gum cells and interferes with their normal function. This means that people who smoke are more susceptible to oral infections such as gum disease.

  • Medications

    A variety of prescription medications are another cause of periodontal disease. This is because some medications can slow down the production of saliva leading to a dryer mouth. The bacteria that causes gum disease can spread more rapidly in dryer environments.

  • Changes in hormones

    Hormonal changes, like those experienced during pregnancy and the menstrual cycle, are another reason that gum disease can develop. Hormones affect things like blood flow to the gums and how the body responds to toxins. If hormones are imbalanced and the gums become unhealthy, gum disease is much more likely to occur.

  • Deficiency in nutrients

    Nutrients found in food and drink are necessary for the body to be healthy. If you are nutrient deficient, the body doesn’t have the vitamins it needs to protect your gums. This is when gum disease arises.

  • How can I prevent gum disease?

    Some people are more likely to develop periodontal disease than others however, there are ways to prevent it.
    Making sure that you brush your teeth twice per day, floss in between each tooth and use mouthwash is one of the main ways to prevent gum disease. Furthermore, not picking up bad habits such as smoking cigarettes and drinking fizzy drinks will also make the development of gum disease less likely.
    One of the final ways to prevent the development of gum disease is by eating a balanced diet and drinking plenty of water. This ensures that the body has the minerals and vitamins it needs to boost your immune system and prevent infections.

    Book an appointment

    If you are unsure on whether or not you are suffering from gum disease or would like to discuss the cosmetic dentistry treatments we provide, don’t hesitate to contact our clinic.

    You can call us on 941-927-5411 and one of our friendly team will be happy to answer any questions you may have and book you an appointment.