Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a serious dental health issue and causes several oral problems. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss and other serious health problems.
Treatment for gum disease will depend on how much damage has been done to the teeth and gums. Mild cases may only need professional dental cleaning to remove plaque buildup and tartar from the surface of the teeth. Moderate cases may need a deep professional cleaning and scaling below the gum line. More severe cases may require pocket reduction surgery, where the gum tissues are reshaped so that less space is available for bacteria to gather. Antibiotics or other medications may also be prescribed to help treat the infection and promote healing.
Factors Causing Gum Disease
Bad Oral Hygiene
Brushing and flossing are super important, but so is rinsing your mouth out with water after meals. Water washes away food debris and leftover acids in your mouth. Rinsing your oral cavity can help prevent the formation of plaque, which is a necessary step in preventing gum disease. Every time you eat a meal or snack, bacteria in your mouth consume sugars and starches and produce harmful byproducts that can damage the tissues of your gums. Bacteria also hide in the crevices between your teeth and irritate your gum tissues. If left untreated, bacteria can infect the bone tissue underneath your gums and cause periodontitis. Luckily, the bacteria that cause gum disease can be stopped if you practice good oral habits! In addition to brushing at least twice a day for two minutes at a time and flossing once per day, remember to rinse regularly with water after every meal. This will prevent food particles from clinging to your teeth and causing decay.
Tobacco use is also a risk factor for gum disease. Not only does tobacco use cause bad breath, but it can also lead to receding gums and tooth decay. Smokers are four times more likely than non-smokers to have severe gum disease. Those with periodontal disease caused by tobacco use often experience bone degeneration in the jaw. This can cause tooth loss, as well.
Smoking can make it more difficult for tobacco users to heal after oral surgery or procedures like tooth extractions. If your gums are bleeding during recovery, this can prolong the healing process and make the area more prone to infection, which can delay healing. Quitting smoking can help reduce the risk of complications from surgery and may also improve healing times.
Even with diligent home care and preventive visits, some people may still experience gum disease due to genetic factors. This means they may have a hard time fighting off plaque buildup on and below the gum line. If you’re experiencing symptoms of gum disease despite your best efforts, it may be a sign of genetics at play. But your dentist can help find the right solution to prevent gum disease due to genetics.
Some medications can cause dry mouth, which can contribute to gum disease. There are certain drugs that can cause teeth to become more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures and acidic foods and drinks. These can include some antidepressants, diuretics, asthma inhalers, antihistamines, and some heart medications. Talk to your doctor if you are concerned about how a drug you are taking may be affecting your oral health.
Diabetes affects your body’s ability to process sugar. When your immune system doesn’t process sugar properly, it can cause plaque to build up on your teeth and along the gum line. This can lead to gum disease if left untreated.
Diabetics are also much more likely to have dry mouths, which can increase the risk of tooth decay and cavities. This is because saliva helps wash away food particles and neutralize the acid caused by bacteria. Without adequate amounts of saliva, this acid builds up on the teeth, which can lead to tooth decay. You should make sure to visit your dentist regularly so they can check for signs of periodontal disease and monitor the way diabetes is affecting your smile.
Please schedule an appointment online or call us at (760) 433-9255 to have a consultation with us, and we will be happy to assist you further.