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Do These Simple Things to Avoid Gum Disease

When it comes to dental concerns in adults, many of these issues are caused by a lack of routine oral hygiene. Here, our Pickering dentists discuss the importance of daily brushing and flossing and other aspects of dental hygiene and how these can help you avoid gum disease.

Gum (Periodontal) Disease: What Is It?

Gum disease (also referred to as periodontal disease) is an infection of the bone and soft tissues that support the teeth. You may hear your dentist frequently refer to gingivitis, which is the most common and mildest form of periodontal disease in adults.

More advanced forms of the disease infect bones and supporting structures of the teeth. This can eventually lead to tooth loss if left untreated.

What are the common causes of periodontal (gum) disease?

A number of factors can contribute to your risk of developing gum disease, including plaque and bacteria buildup in the mouth, hormonal shifts, smoking, nutritional deficiencies, some prescription medications, uneven teeth and even genetics.

Bleeding gums are a clue that you may have gum disease, which is why you should schedule an appointment with your dentist if you notice that your gums are bleeding. Because your mouth contains millions of bacteria, great oral hygiene every day is a must - to disrupt the bacteria.

If it is left too long, your body will try to rid itself of undisturbed bacteria by sending more blood to your gums. The excess blood may cause swelling, soreness, bleeding and redness. Your body thinks it has an infection - this is called gingivitis, and it won't heal until the source of the infection is eliminated. 

Bacteria can be found in plaque, tartar or calculus, pockets beneath the gums (in cases of advanced gum disease), cavities, abscesses and chipped teeth. They may also hide in old dental work, as repairs to your teeth create an edge or margin that bacteria can adhere to. 

What are some ways to help prevent periodontal disease?

There are no shortcuts when it comes to dental health and oral hygiene. The best way to avoid developing gum disease is to maintain good oral hygiene habits, plain and simple.

The concerns mentioned above will not singlehandedly cause gum disease. If you maintain a rigorous and thorough oral hygiene routine, it will be very difficult for gum disease to start to take hold.

For example, while you may be prone to plaque buildup (perhaps due to genetics), as long as you brush and floss your teeth twice a day and visit your dentist as prescribed for regular professional cleanings and checkups, chances are that gum disease will not be able to fully develop.

Whether a pregnancy causes a hormonal shift, you take prescription medication or are a regular smoker, the most common cause of gum disease is the unimpeded development of bacteria and plaque in the mouth.

Most of the time, gum disease can be easily prevented with a good oral hygiene routine or gum therapy. These issues mentioned above can increase your chances of gum disease but it's your daily choices with oral hygiene that have the greatest effect on your oral health.

If you would like to learn more about oral hygiene or schedule yourself for professional preventive care, please contact our Pickering dentists today.

Our Pickering dentists are accepting new patients.

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