Many people suffer from gum disease due to the lack of knowledge of how it develops. Understanding the common causes of gum diseases can help prevent any future oral health problems. When people develop gum disease, it’s typically periodontitis, a serious gum infection that damages the soft tissue and destroys the bone that supports the teeth. Without proper treatment, periodontitis can result in loosened teeth or tooth loss.
The most common cause of periodontitis is poor oral hygiene. People who don’t brush at least twice daily, floss daily, or get regular dental checkups have a higher chance of developing periodontitis. Poor oral hygiene leads to the development of plaque, which is made up of bacteria. Plaque forms in the mouth when the starches and sugars from food interact with the bacteria. If untreated, plaque stays in the mouth and hardens into tartar, also known as calculus. Tartar is filled with bacteria and is more difficult to remove than plaque. It requires a dental professional to use a special tool to scrape the tartar out of the mouth.
Untreated plaque can also cause gingivitis, which is the mildest form of periodontitis. Gingivitis is gum irritation and inflammation that causes gums to become red, swollen, and easily bleed. Gingivitis left untreated can cause pockets to develop between the gums and the teeth that fill with plaque, tartar, and bacteria. This eventually leads to loss of tissue and bone, tooth loss, and other serious health problems. Other causes of gingivitis are diabetes, smoking, substance abuse, HIV, genetic predisposition, stress, poor nutrition, and hormonal fluctuations.
The most common types of periodontitis are aggressive periodontitis, chronic periodontitis, and necrotizing periodontal disease. Aggressive periodontitis causes rapid bone and tooth loss if untreated. Chronic periodontitis is the most common type of periodontitis and is caused by plaque buildup. It destroys the gums and bones and leads to tooth loss if untreated. Necrotizing periodontal disease is when the lack of blood supply leads to the death of gum tissue and tooth ligaments. Necrotizing periodontal disease usually develops in individuals with a waning immune system, such as HIV. Cancer treatment and malnutrition also contribute to the development.
The best way to prevent developing periodontitis is to maintain an adequate oral healthcare routine that includes getting regular checkups at a dental office. Dental professionals will be able to help reverse periodontitis in its early stage.
At McBride Dental, we offer deep cleanings and other gum disease treatments to help with gum inflammation and irritation. Early signs of gum disease include loose teeth, painful chewing, bad breath, gum bleeding, and receding gums. Upon an examination in our office, we will be able to determine if a client has developed a gum disease or not. If you, or someone you love, is suffering from any of these symptoms, call 760-471-1003 to schedule an appointment.