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Gum Disease: Its Causes, Prevention, & Cures

Gum disease comes in 4 distinct stages of progression, beginning as gingivitis and culminating in advanced periodontitis. At first, its symptoms are mild and fully reversible. But left unchecked, it can lead to deterioration of gum and bone tissue, tooth loss, and infection/inflammations spreading from the mouth to other parts of the body.
Since a majority of US adults will suffer from some stage of gum disease at some point in their life, it’s critical to understand the causes of gum disease, how to prevent it, and the periodontal treatments that can reverse it.

Most Common Causes Of Gum Disease
The number one cause of gum disease, by far, is simply poor oral hygiene. As plaque is allowed to build up on teeth and form a bacteria-harboring film over the gums, periodontal (gum) tissue begins to deteriorate.

Over time, deep bacterial pockets from in the spaces between teeth and along the tooth roots just below the gum line. Painful infection, bleeding of the gums, and sore and inflamed gums then develop.

But although lack of proper oral care is the number one cause of gum disease, it’s not at all the only cause of it. Here are some of the other common causes to be aware of:

  • Genetic predisposition. Increased risk of gum disease, as for many other medical problems, can “run in the family.”
  • Use of tobacco products. Smoking lowers your immune health, making it much easier for your gums to get damaged. It also greatly slows down the healing process.
  • Simply getting older. Aging is a major risk factor for developing gum disease. That’s why it’s crucial to pay extra attention to your gums as you age.
  • Use of dentures. Traditional removable dentures (both full and partial) are difficult to properly floss and brush, which tends to let food particles get trapped under them. And that can lead to plaque build up, bacterial growth, and gum disease.
  • Hormonal imbalances and high stress make one more susceptible to gum disease.
  • Poor general health puts one at higher risk of seeing gum health decline – and the reverse is also true.

Preventing And Curing Gum Disease
Technically, you can never say that your getting gingivitis is a 100% impossibility. And periodontal treatment only cures gum disease in the sense of reversing its symptoms and eliminating the bacteria that causes it – but unless you maintain good oral hygiene, gum disease is likely to make a come back.

Preventing gum problems is best accomplished by regular, proper oral hygiene. Brush and floss after breakfast and before you go to bed at night. And use an antiseptic mouthwash to kill bacteria and flush them away from your teeth and gums.

The second major strategy is to eat healthy foods that are vitamin-rich and don’t have excessive sugar content. Eating fruits/vegetables like apples, broccoli, and celery will naturally “scrape” away gum-disease-causing bacteria.

Third, give up smoking or chewing tobacco since it puts your gums at great risk. Excessive consumption of alcohol can do the same.

And finally, have your teeth cleaned twice annually to get rid of encrusted tartar. And if you have any symptoms of gum disease, talk to your periodontist about possible treatments.

If you suspect you may be developing gum disease, feel free to contact Dr. Raymond A. Kenzik in Ormond Beach, FL, to set up a consultation!

Located in Beautiful Ormond Beach

Ormond Beach Periodontics and Implant Dentistry is conveniently located off of Nova Road in Ormond Beach, Florida. We help seniors, adults, and teenagers smile with confidence.