What Causes Gum Disease?

Our mouths are constantly working. They’re digesting food and fighting off the plaque and bacteria that lead to cavities and Periodontitis (gum disease). If you’re concerned about gum disease, due to habits you may have, family history, or disease then keep reading to learn what causes it and what you can do to avoid Periodontitis.

What causes gum disease?

Plaque is the most common cause of gum disease in many people. Plaque sits on the teeth after you eat food or drink anything other than water. If you aren’t very good at remembering to brush and floss, then it can remain on the teeth for a longer period of time. After a time, the plaque changes and turns into tartar, which is harder and more damaging to the teeth, as it contains bacteria. This tartar encourages gum disease, and inflammation of the gums which is called Gingivitis.

Gum disease doesn’t only come from poor brushing habits, though. Some other factors include changes in your hormones. When you go through puberty, pregnancy, menopause, or even menstruation, the gums may be affected, and they may be more susceptible to gingivitis and other disease.

Immune system issues and disease may also be linked to a change in your gums that can lead to gum disease. Diabetics have a higher risk of developing infections that include gum disease, so it’s important to understand your risk factors and act accordingly to keep yourself healthy.

How can I prevent gum disease?

Brushing your teeth properly is key to preventing Periodontitis. Brush gently every morning and night to remove plaque before it becomes tartar. Brushing too hard can cause problems for your gums, too, so make sure you are gentle. If your toothbrush bristles are bent back, try brushing with your non-dominant hand to lighten up.

Flossing is also an important part of removing plaque that is hiding between the teeth. Visiting your dentist for regular cleanings will help banish plaque and tartar that you may not have caught by brushing and flossing.

Are you interested in learning more, or looking for a consultation? Call us today at (208) 322-1112 to schedule an appointment.