Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is one of the most common oral health concerns. It is an infection of the gums that can cause damage to the soft tissues and bones that hold your teeth in place. If left untreated, gum disease can affect your overall health.
Here are a few factors that lead to gum disease:
If a patient does not brush and floss their teeth regularly, plaque can build up on the teeth and along the gum line. Plaque is a sticky film that contains millions of bacteria that can harm the gums and cause cavities. When left on the teeth for too long, the acids in plaque can eat away at the enamel of the teeth, causing tooth decay and gum disease.
Brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing once a day will help to remove plaque from the teeth. Make sure to properly clean all surfaces of your teeth because plaque can hide out between them. For patients who struggle with brushing and flossing, a dentist may recommend an oral hygiene routine that uses an electric toothbrush and oral rinses to help remove plaque and prevent gingivitis and periodontitis.
Smoking can compromise the gum tissues and lead to gum disease. In addition to discoloring teeth, smoke irritates delicate oral tissue. Individuals who smoke are more likely to have plaque buildup and tartar when compared to nonsmokers. These substances contribute to gum inflammation. Also, smoking interferes with the body’s immune response to the bacteria in plaque, allowing the infection to grow and spread. People with periodontal disease are four times more likely to experience tooth loss than those who don’t. This occurs due to the worsening of supporting bone structure in the jaw.
Many patients grind their teeth while they sleep, and some even clench their jaws during the day. When doing this can lead to sensitive teeth, worn enamel, gum recession, and even tooth loss. If a patient exhibits these traits, the dentist may recommend a night guard. This prevents the patient from grinding the teeth together by acting as a barrier between them. This protects the lower teeth and gums from damage that can be caused by clenching or grinding.
Genetics can play a role in whether or not someone develops gum disease. However, genetics does not directly cause periodontal disease. Instead, the genes people are born with may affect their immune system response to bacteria in the mouth and affect how the body responds to inflammation. For example, some people are naturally more susceptible to serious forms of gum disease, while others have mild forms that are easy to treat. Certain lifestyle factors can also increase the risk of developing gingivitis or advanced periodontitis.
To schedule your appointment with us, contact Korte Family Dentistry at (402) 489-3115 or visit us at 3901 Normal Blvd STE 202, Lincoln, NE 68506. We will be happy to guide you further.