Gum Disease Causes

October 12, 2018

Keeping up good oral hygiene doesn’t just mean keeping your teeth clean – it also means looking after your gums and preventing gum disease.

Keeping up good oral hygiene doesn’t just mean keeping your teeth clean – it also means looking after your gums and preventing gum disease.

Gum disease is caused by plaque, a substance that builds up on your teeth and contains bacteria. When you don’t remove plaque, it keeps building up and will cause irritation in the gums. This is why you might notice some of the more unpleasant symptoms of gum disease, like bleeding or soreness.

These are some of the factors that can lead to a build-up of plaque and put you at risk of gum disease:

  • Poor oral hygiene. This is by far the biggest cause of gum disease, and the great news is, it’s easy for you to rectify. All you need to do is brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss between your teeth regularly, and visit your dentist for check-ups. We would generally recommend a 6-month or yearly check-up, where we can address any issues you might have noticed and advise you on good oral hygiene.
  • Smoking. This can increase levels of bacterial plaque on your teeth, affecting your gums more than a non-smoker. Smoking also affects the amount of oxygen in your bloodstream, making it harder for your gums to heal once they have become infected. It’s very important you keep up good oral hygiene, and your dentist may recommend more regular visits so they can monitor your gums and teeth.
  • Crooked teeth. If you have very crooked teeth, it might be harder for you to clean them thoroughly and floss in between them. Speak to your dentist and dental hygienist for advice. You may need more regular cleaning, or they may suggest a tooth straightening treatment to help you clean your teeth more easily in future.
  • Other health issues. It is possible that other health issues and medications might increase your risk of developing problems with your gums. If you have diabetes, take prescription medication or suspect you may have a nutritional deficiency, speak to your dentist. They can give you further advice based on your specific circumstances.

Some signs that you might have gum disease

Always look out for signs of gum disease. When it is in its early stages, it is much easier to treat, and you will be able to carry out most of the steps required at home.

If you have mild gum disease (also known as gingivitis), you may notice:

  • Soreness and swelling around your gums
  • Bleeding when you brush your teeth
  • Bad breath

If gum disease is ignored, gingivitis can develop into periodontitis, a much more serious condition that affects the tissues. This can eventually lead to you losing teeth.

With something like gum disease, prevention is definitely better than a cure. The best-case scenario is to prevent plaque forming in the first place, so that your gums remain in good health throughout your life. By following our tips, maintaining good oral hygiene and visiting your dentist on a regular basis, you are giving your gums the best possible chance of staying in good health and being free of gum disease.

High Street Dental Care Limited is a limited company registered in England and Wales with registered number 11756205. Registered office address Cromwell House, 68 West Gate, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, NG18 1RR. A list of directors is available at our registered office.

Dr Stefan T Kaczmarczyk: GDC 63814

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