Today, our dentists in Vancouver talk about poor dental hygiene and how it can lead to gum disease if the proper actions aren't taken to avoid this condition.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease (also called periodontal disease) is an infection in the soft tissues and bones that support teeth. When your dentist talks about gingivitis, they are referring to gum disease in a mild or moderate form, when it is only affecting the soft tissues.
More advanced forms of gum disease infect the bones and supporting structures of the teeth, which could eventually lead to tooth loss if it's left untreated.
What causes gum disease?
There are various elements that can increase your risk of getting gum disease such as smoking, plaque and bacteria buildup in the mouth, nutritional deficiencies, hormonal shifts, some prescription medications, uneven teeth, and even genetics.
What can I do to avoid gum disease?
There aren't any specific tips and tricks that can help you avoid gum disease. The best way to prevent it is to keep up with good dental hygiene habits.
None of the factors we listed above alone will cause gum disease but, if you implement a consistent, thorough, and rigorous oral hygiene routine, it will be hard for gum disease to take hold.
As an example, if you are prone to plaque buildup (perhaps due to genetics), but you brush and floss your teeth two times 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, you can easily prevent gum disease with a good oral hygiene routine. While the conditions listed above can increase your risk (and make prevention harder), whether it actually develops comes down to the decisions you make daily about your oral health practices.