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What is Gum Disease? Causes and Prevention

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a common oral health issue that affects millions of people worldwide. While it may start as a seemingly minor concern, untreated gum disease can lead to serious complications, including tooth loss and overall health problems. To maintain a healthy smile, it's essential to understand the causes of gum disease and how to prevent it. In this post, we'll discuss the causes of gum disease and offer expert insights from Madalina, our resident dental expert, along with information about our clinic's location in Potters Bar.

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is a bacterial infection that affects the gums, bones, and tissues supporting your teeth. It typically progresses through two main stages: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is the milder form and is characterized by inflamed, red, and bleeding gums. Without proper care, gingivitis can advance to periodontitis, where the infection can cause more severe damage to your oral health.

Causes of Gum Disease

  1. Poor Oral Hygiene: The primary cause of gum disease is inadequate dental hygiene. When you don't brush and floss regularly, plaque—a sticky film of bacteria—accumulates on your teeth. Over time, this plaque hardens into tartar, which can only be removed by a dental professional. These bacterial deposits irritate the gums and lead to gum disease.

  2. Smoking and Tobacco Use: Smoking and using tobacco products are significant risk factors for gum disease. These substances not only weaken your immune system's ability to fight off infections but also interfere with blood flow to the gums, making them more vulnerable to damage.

  3. Hormonal Changes: Hormonal fluctuations in women, such as those occurring during pregnancy, menstruation, and menopause, can increase the risk of gum disease. These changes may make the gums more sensitive and prone to inflammation.

Expert Insights from Dr. Madalina breaks it down in more detail as to what can cause it, and you'll be surprised at what she says.

Preventing gum disease starts with proper oral care. Here are some essential steps to keep your gums healthy:

  1. Genetics: Some individuals may have a genetic predisposition to gum disease. If it runs in your family, it's essential to be extra vigilant about your oral health.

  2. Poor Oral Hygiene that Isn't Controlled with Regular Hygiene Appointments Every 6 Months at Least: Neglecting regular dental checkups can exacerbate the risk of gum disease. To maintain optimal oral health, it's crucial to schedule hygiene appointments every six months.

  3. More Plaque Buildup than Most: If you notice more plaque buildup than usual, it's an indicator of heightened gum disease risk. Seek professional help to manage this condition effectively.

  4. General Factors per Individual: The risk of gum disease can vary from person to person, depending on a range of factors, including overall health and lifestyle. It's important to consider your unique circumstances.

  5. Educating Our Patients on Good At-Home Oral Hygiene Flossing Every Day and Using Additional Methods of Cleaning Your Mouth: Our commitment is to educate our patients on maintaining excellent oral hygiene practices at home. This includes daily flossing and employing supplementary oral cleaning techniques for comprehensive protection.

Gum disease is a preventable and treatable condition, but it requires a commitment to good oral hygiene and a healthy lifestyle. By understanding the causes of gum disease and taking proactive steps to prevent it, you can ensure the long-term health of your gums and teeth, as well as your overall well-being. If you suspect you have gum disease or want to learn more about maintaining optimal oral health, consult our dental clinic in Potters Bar and schedule or call tel:01707 954 633 for a checkup with our experienced team.

Your journey to a healthier smile starts here.


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