Gum disease is a very common issue among Canadian adults, and it’s often caused by poor oral hygiene. Here, our Toronto dentists (at our Richmond-Adelaide Dental, Brookfield Place Dental, King-York Dental, College Park Dental, and Bay Adelaide Dental locations) explain how poor oral hygiene can lead to gum disease, and what actions you can take to avoid the condition.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease (also referred to as periodontal disease) is an infection of the bone and soft tissues that support the teeth. You dentist may have talked about gingivitis. This is the most mild or moderate form of gum disease, and it doesn't affect bone.
Advanced forms of the disease can infect bones and supporting structures of the teeth. If left untreated, this can eventually lead to tooth loss.
What causes gum disease?
A number of factors can contribute to your risk of developing gum disease, including nutritional deficiencies, plaque and bacteria buildup in the mouth, smoking, hormonal shifts, some prescription medications, uneven teeth and even genetics.
What can I do to avoid gum disease?
There are no real 'tips and tricks' when it comes to avoiding gum disease. The best way to avoid developing gum disease is to maintain good oral hygiene habits, plain and simple.
None of the above-listed factors can cause gum disease to develop and thrive on their own. If you maintain a rigorous and thorough oral hygiene routine, it will be very easy for you to avoid gum disease.
For example, while you may be prone to plaque buildup (perhaps due to genetics), as long as you brush and floss your teeth twice a day and visit your dentist for regular professional cleanings and checkups, chances are that you will be able to avoid full developed gum disease.
Whether you take prescription medication, a pregnancy causes a hormonal shift, or are a regular smoker, the most common cause of gum disease is the unimpeded development of bacteria and plaque in the mouth.
Most of the time, gum disease can be easily avoided with a good oral hygiene routine. While the issues listed above can increase your risk (and make prevention more challenging), whether it actually develops comes down to the decisions you make every day about your oral oral health practices.