Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a common oral health condition that affects the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth. It occurs when there is an infection in the gums caused by bacteria found in plaque - that sticky film that forms on our teeth. As plaque builds up, it hardens into tartar, which can irritate and inflame the gum tissue.
This inflammation is known as gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease. The signs of gingivitis include redness, swelling, tenderness, and bleeding gums during brushing or flossing. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis - a more severe form of gum disease.
Maintaining optimal gum health is crucial for a beautiful smile and overall well-being. Understanding the causes of gum disease can help us take proactive steps to protect our oral health.
Poor Oral Hygiene:
Neglecting proper dental care, such as brushing and flossing regularly, allows harmful bacteria to accumulate in the mouth. This buildup forms a sticky film called plaque that irritates the gums, leading to inflammation.
Smoking or chewing tobacco not only stains your teeth but also increases your risk of developing gum disease. The chemicals in tobacco products interfere with saliva production, which hinders the natural defense mechanisms against bacterial growth.
Fluctuations in hormone levels during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause can make gums more sensitive and prone to inflammation. It's essential to maintain good oral hygiene habits during these times to minimize the risk of gum disease.
Some medications like antihistamines and antidepressants may have side effects that contribute to dry mouth. With reduced saliva flow comes an increased vulnerability to gum infections.
Unfortunately, some individuals are genetically predisposed to develop periodontal disease. If you have a family history of gum problems, it is important to be extra vigilant about caring for your gums through regular dental check-ups and thorough oral hygiene practices.
High-stress levels compromise our immune system's ability to fight off infections effectively—including those that affect our gums. Finding healthy ways to manage stress can positively impact your overall well-being while reducing the risk of gum disease.
Your gums are more than just a backdrop for your smile. They play a crucial role in maintaining the health of your teeth and overall oral well-being. Therefore, it's important to be aware of the common signs and symptoms of gum disease.
Remember, spotting these signs early on can help prevent further damage and potential tooth loss down the line. So don't ignore any unusual sensations in your mouth – seek professional dental care promptly!
Untreated gum disease can have serious consequences on not just your oral health but also your overall well-being.
To learn more, visit Main Street Dental at 3195 S Main St Ste 225, South Salt Lake, UT 84115, or call (801) 467-2255.
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