What are periodontal diseases?
- Periodontal diseases, or gum infections, can lead to a deterioration of support for your teeth
- Each unique periodontal disease requires a different, specialized treatment plan
- Plaque is one of the main causes of gum disease in patients who are susceptible to the diseases themselves
- Good dental hygiene can help prevent most periodontal diseases
The Importance of Oral Hygiene
Past the age of 35, gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss, surpassing cavities. 75% of all adults get a periodontal condition at some point in their lifetime. While most periodontal diseases can be prevented with proper dental hygiene routines, such as brushing and flossing regularly, it is important to recognize the causes of gum disease early on, as they can lead to heart problems.
Bacterial plaque can cause both decay and disease on your teeth. Plague, a film that sticks to your teeth around the gum line, is the leading cause of periodontal infection. While plaque forms continuously on the gumline, daily brushing and flossing can help keep the development under control and prevent gum disease.
Various factors other than dental hygiene can impact your risk for periodontal diseases, such as genetic probability. However, the main cause of periodontal disease is the bacteria found in plaque itself. Without constant dental care, plaque can harden into tartar, a porous substance that can lead to more severe dental issues.
Other Gum Disease Risk Factors:
- Clenching and grinding teeth
- Poor nutrition
The bacteria in built up plaque deposits produce toxins that can cause gum irritation. This can lead to red, swollen, and bleeding gums. If not taken care of right away, gum disease can cause the gums themselves to separate from the teeth, causing pockets that can become more severely infected and threaten the structural stability of the teeth. If left untreated, periodontal disease can even affect the jawbone itself, leading to tooth loss. In some cases, gum disease has also been linked to an increased risk of heart issues later in life, due to the infections themselves.
Preventing Gum Disease
Preventing gum disease is as easy as good dental hygiene. Daily brushing and flossing, as well as regular dental cleanings can help prevent the build up on plague. However, in some cases, home care isn’t enough to prevent periodontal disease, especially in the cases of genetic factors. Once the signs of gum disease begin, it is crucial to get professional care to avoid serious complications.