Gum disease is a common dental concern, affecting millions of people each year. At Main Street Dental, our experienced dentists are here to help you prevent and treat gum disease. Read on to learn about its causes:
The cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth feed off simple sugars, and when you don't brush and floss regularly, this sugary film can build up on the surface of your teeth. The longer it is there, the more it grows until it eventually hardens into plaque - a sticky substance that clings to the surface of your teeth. If it isn't removed in a timely fashion, it will harden into tartar, a material that can only be removed by a professional cleaning. If this is allowed to happen, it can cause serious damage to your gums and teeth, leading to gum disease.
Even if you're brushing and flossing regularly, you still need to visit your dentist every six months for a checkup and cleaning so they can catch any potential problems before they become severe.
Your genes may have a lot to say about your risk for gum disease. For example, those with a family history of periodontal disease may be more prone to the condition themselves. That's because genetics may play a strong role in how susceptible someone might be to disease in general. While you can't change your genetic makeup, you can take steps to prevent dental problems. Brushing and flossing daily at home can help remove plaque that causes gum disease, and visiting the dentist for regular cleanings and exams can give your teeth the attention they need to stay healthy and strong.
The condition known as smoker's periodontitis is a type of gum disease that occurs in people who smoke cigarettes or use other forms of tobacco. This type of gum disease causes severe damage to the gums and other structures in the mouth. Plaque buildup is more severe for those who use tobacco products. In addition, smokers are at a higher risk of developing oral cancer. It's never too late to quit using tobacco, so call your dentist today to schedule a consultation to discuss quitting smoking once and for all.
When you're pregnant, the body produces hormones that increase your chance of developing gingivitis and gum disease. These hormonal changes can cause the gums to become inflamed or irritated very easily. Once the baby is born and the hormone levels stabilize, your gums should return to normal and heal from the condition. However, if pregnancy hormones were the cause of your gum issues, you may develop them again if you become pregnant again.
If the mother has poor oral health during pregnancy, this can also affect the health of the baby. An unhealthy mouth can introduce bacteria to the bloodstream, which is then transferred to the baby through the umbilical cord. The harmful bacteria can then cause premature birth, low birth weight, and other health issues for the child. This is referred to as "pregnancy gingivitis."
Many commonly prescribed medications list dry mouth as a side effect, which can lead to gum disease. A dry mouth is a condition in which the mouth produces less saliva than normal, which can leave the mouth vulnerable to bacteria, plaque buildup, and tooth decay. If you're currently taking medications and notice more instances of gingivitis or bleeding gums, speak with your doctor about alternative medications that may treat your condition without causing a dry mouth. In some cases, you may simply need to increase your water intake to combat the side effect of dry mouth.
For the best dental care tailored to your unique needs, 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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