The Stages of Gum Disease
Periodontal disease is an infection of the soft tissues and bones that surround and support the teeth. However, it's more commonly known as gum disease. It can be seen in a few different forms. For example, gingivitis is a mild to moderate form of gum disease that affects only the soft tissues of the mouth and teeth. In more advanced cases of gum disease, the bones and supporting structures of the teeth become infected. If left untreated, this infection can eventually result in tooth loss.
Gum Disease Causes
There are a handful of factors that can cause gum disease, including bacteria and plaque buildup in the mouth, smoking, hormonal shifts, some prescription medications, nutritional deficiencies, uneven teeth, and genetics. To lower your risk of getting gum disease, do your best to avoid some of the factors detailed above.
You need to remember that none of these factors can, on their own, cause gum disease to develop and spread throughout the body. As long as you maintain a rigorous and thorough oral hygiene routine, it will be extremely difficult for gum disease to establish a foothold and spread.
Example: You might be genetically predisposed to plaque buildup; but, if you brush and floss two times a day, in addition to visiting your dentist at prescribed intervals for a professional cleaning and checkup, the likelihood of developing gum disease is reduced.
If you have uneven teeth, plaque, bacteria, and food debris that accumulates much more easily in the spaces between them, it makes it much more difficult to keep them clean. However, as previously stated, gum disease is unlikely to develop if you are diligent in brushing and flossing your teeth thoroughly, as well as visiting your dentist on a regular basis.
The Primary Cause of Gum Disease
It doesn't matter if you are having a hormonal shift due to pregnancy or if you smoke regularly, the overarching cause of gum disease is the unhampered build-up of plaque and bacteria in your mouth.
This is actually good news because it means that most of the time gum disease is easily prevented by a good oral hygiene routine. While the above-listed issues can increase the risk of gum disease (and make prevention more difficult), it is ultimately up to you whether it actually develops.
Flossing daily, brushing twice a day, and visiting your dentist regularly for professional cleanings (for most people, twice a year is should be sufficient) are the best ways to prevent gum disease.