What causes gum disease?

Gum disease can be caused by poor oral hygiene, as well as a number of other factors.

Gum disease is a common condition, and if left untreated, it can cause a number of health issues, including tooth loss. But what causes the issue? And can it be prevented?

What are the causes of gum disease?

The gums attach to the teeth at a space known as a sulcus. The issue is that food, plaque, and bacteria can get stuck in this area, leading to issues like infection. When the gums become infected, early gum disease, also known as gingivitis, can occur.

One of the best ways to prevent plaque from entering the sulcus is to practice proper oral hygiene — failure to brush and floss regularly is a common cause of gum disease.

Some other risk factors for gum disease include:

  • Tobacco use
  • Certain health issues (diabetes)
  • Genetic factors
  • Pregnancy
  • Misaligned teeth

What are the signs of gum disease?

In many cases, gum disease does not present any painful symptoms until it reaches an advanced stage.

There are, however, some warning signs of gingivitis, such as:

  • Swollen
  • Bleeding or tender gums
  • Receding gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Pain while chewing or biting
  • Bad breath
  • Bad taste

If you notice any of these symptoms, it is a good idea to see your dentist as soon as possible. Early diagnosis and treatment help resolve the issue as successfully as possible.

How can it be treated?

Often, the first way in which gum disease is treated is with the help of a scale and clean. Your dentist is also likely to provide you with tips and advice on how to improve your at-home oral hygiene techniques.

If necessary, your dentist will perform a scale and root planing procedure. During a scale, the tartar is removed from your teeth above your gum line. During the root planing process, rough spots are smoothed, and plaque and tartar are removed from the roots’ surface.

Can gum disease be prevented?

Although gum disease is a common issue, it can often be prevented with proper oral hygiene. This means brushing your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and flossing every day. It’s also advisable to see your dentist for a regular check-up and cleans every six months.

At Dream Smiles Specialist Centre, we offer gum disease treatment and dental check-ups and cleans. If you would like to find out more about gum disease treatment at our practice, please have a look here.

If you would like to make an appointment to see us, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We offer a broad range of dental services and look forward to helping you achieve and maintain good oral health in the long term.

We have practices in both Morningside and Sunnybank, and our team is available to address any questions or concerns that you might have.