Common Causes of Gum Disease

lizzie79 By lizzie79, 23rd Apr 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>General Health>Oral Care

Gum disease is a common problem experienced by many people. Types of gum disease include gingivitis and periodontitis. Untreated, it can cause severe pain and tooth loss. Here is an overview of the most common causes of gum disease.

Plaque

The biggest contributory factor to people having gum disease is plaque. Plaque forms throughout the day on your teeth and is a sticky and colourless film. Gum disease is then formed by plaque getting between the teeth and the gums, leading to infection. The main way to prevent gum disease from plaque is by maintaining good dental hygiene.

Pregnancy

At certain stages in your life there is a need for increased oral hygiene as changes in the body can affect oral health. One of these times is during pregnancy. Hormonal changes in the body can affect the gums. Increased blood flow to the tiny blood vessels in the gums causes them to swell. This in turn widens the pockets between the gums and teeth, thus increasing the risk of infection. The best way to avoid these problems is to increase oral hygiene routines and to make sure that you visit a dentist regularly during the pregnancy.

Smoking

Smoking and tobacco use can cause many serious illnesses. Some studies have shown that smoking significantly increases the risk of having gum disease. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, smoking increases the risk of calculus, hardened plaque, which is difficult to remove without professional cleaning. Secondly, you are at greater risk of having pockets between your teeth and gums. This increases the risk of bacteria getting between your teeth and gums. Finally, smokers are more likely to have loss of bone and tissue that supports the teeth. The best way to prevent getting gum disease from smoking is to quit smoking.

Genetics

There is some evidence to suggest that some people may be genetically predisposed to getting gum disease. If there is a history in your family of gum disease, it is possible to talk to your dentist to discuss how the risks can be reduced and managed.

Medications

Most medications have some potential side effects. Some medications are linked to an increased risk of gum disease. Read the information on any medications you are taking and discuss any concerns with both your doctor and your dentist.

Diabetes

People with diabetes are at greater risk of developing infections and have reduced capacity to fight off infections. One such infection is gum disease. Gum disease can also impair the person ability to process insulin which can make managing the diabetes more difficult to control.

Stress

Stress can lead to the body having difficulty fighting off infections. For those at risk of gum disease, stress can contribute to both getting gum disease and being able to fight the infection.

Tags

Dental Health, Gum Disease, Gums, Oral Care, Plaque

Meet the author

author avatar lizzie79
I am a mum of four who has worked as a professional freelance writer for the past five years and formerly worked in education. I love to write about education, parenting, fashion, health, and travel.

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