Periodontal disease, also known as Gum Disease, is a serious condition in which bacteria forms around and below the gum line, causing inflammation and irritation; which may lead to tooth loss and other serious health issues if left untreated. Here are a few of the common causes of Periodontal Disease:
- Poor Dental Hygiene - The best way to prevent gum disease is to start with a solid, consistent dental hygiene program at home. Brushing your teeth twice per day, flossing at least once per day, and eating healthy, balanced meals are a great start. Making sure you visit the dentist at your regularly scheduled office visits will also help ensure your teeth are healthy and that any bacteria, plaque, and tartar (calculus) buildup has been removed.
- Use of Tobacco - Tobacco use increases the likelihood of periodontal disease and can even significantly increase the progression of and slow down the treatment times. Tobacco users and smokers are often found having more dental health issues, such as bone loss, deep pockets of infection between the teeth and gums, calculus or tartar buildup, and even bad breath (due to the infection and not necessarily due to smoking).
- Chronic Stress & Poor Diet - Malnutrition, a poor diet, stress and other factors may increase the chances of periodontal disease and other health issues. These factors lower the immune system's response to bacterial infections in the body which has been proven to contribute to poor oral and physical health.
- Teeth Grinding - Whether you are grinding your teeth in your sleep or clenching while you are awake, these issues can contribute to oral health problems. Grinding and Clenching cause stress and damage to your teeth, gums, and jaw bone and can aid in the progression of periodontal disease and other issues in the mouth.
- Genetics - Some individuals are 30% more likely than others to become affected by Periodontal Disease due to genetic factors. Although some people are more likely to get it, having a consistent oral hygiene routine is imperative to oral health.
- Menopause & Pregnancy - As a woman's body experiences hormonal changes during Menopause and Pregnancy, the tissues (gums) in her mouth may become more sensitive. During this time, it is important to brush and floss regularly to avoid the periodontal issues that are so common during this stage in a woman's life.
- Medications - Some drugs and medications change the body's immune and response systems. For example, steroid use has proven to cause gums to become more sensitive, tender, bleed more easily, pull away from the teeth, change a person's bite, and even cause bad breath.
- Medical Issues - Diabetes, Heart Disease, Osteoporosis, Respiratory Disease, Arthritis and other health issues can affect your body's ability to fight periodontal disease and, in some cases, they may cause the disease to progress more rapidly. Bacterial infections in your body are much more difficult to control while dealing with other health issues. In these cases, it is imperative to continue a solid dental hygiene program at home, as well as visit your dentist regularly.
The Treatment of Periodontal (Gum) Disease
Because the health of the gums in a person's body is so important, a Dentist can continue their education to specialize in Periodontal Dentistry as a Periodontist. Periodontists are skilled in caring for patients who are in need of Periodontal Cleanings and surgeries, including bone and tissue grafts, and Dental Implants.
Dental Scalings and Root Planing are common procedures that a Periodontist or Dental Hygienist will perform to thoroughly clean the deep pockets of bacteria that can form between the gums and teeth, and help prevent further damage to the tissue.
If your gums bleed easily, are inflamed, red, or have pain, don't hesitate to contact us to schedule an appointment, or with any questions at 281-492-6064.