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Common Causes of Gum Disease

Gum disease is a common problem for Canadian adults, and the cause is often improper oral hygiene. Our Victoria dentists discuss how to prevent gum disease and what can be done to treat it.

Gum Disease

Periodontal disease is an infection of the soft tissues and bones surrounding and supporting the teeth. It is also much more commonly known as gum disease. It can come in several different forms. For example, gingivitis is a mild to moderate form of gum disease that affects only the soft tissues of the mouth and teeth. In more advanced cases of gum disease, the bones and supporting structures of the teeth become infected. If left untreated, this infection can eventually result in tooth loss.

What causes gum disease?

Gum disease can be caused by a number of factors such as bacteria and plaque buildup in the mouth, smoking, hormonal shifts, some prescription medications, nutritional deficiencies, uneven teeth, and even genetics. 

Keep in, however, that is unlikely that any one of these factors can, on their own, cause gum disease to develop and spread throughout the body. As long as one maintains a rigorous and thorough oral hygiene routine, it will be difficult for gum disease to establish a foothold and worsen.

For example, you may be genetically predisposed to plaque buildup; however, if you brush and floss twice a day, in addition to visiting your dentist at prescribed intervals for a professional cleaning and checkup, the likelihood of developing gum disease is reduced.

If your teeth are uneven, there's a heightened chance of more buildup of plaque, bacteria, and food debris in the spaces between them. This makes it much more difficult to keep them clean – however, as previously stated, gum disease is unlikely to develop if you are diligent in brushing and flossing your teeth thoroughly, as well as visiting your dentist on a regular basis.

The Most Common Cause of Gum Disease

Whether you are experiencing a hormonal shift (e.g. pregnancy), smoking regularly, or taking a prescription medication, the basic cause of gum disease unrestrained development of bacteria gum disease is ultimately caused by the unimpeded development of bacteria and plaque in the mouth.

This is actually good news because it means that most of the time gum disease is easily prevented by a good oral hygiene routine. While the above-listed issues can increase the risk of gum disease (and make prevention more difficult), it is ultimately up to you whether it actually develops.

The best way to prevent gum disease is to brush and floss twice daily, as well as to visit your dentist regularly (for most people, twice a year) for a professional cleaning. 

If you have any questions about gum disease or proper brushing and flossing techniques, don't hesitate to contact our Victoria dentists today.

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