Gum disease, also known as periodontitis, is a degenerative disease of the tissue around and under your teeth. It is a big cause of significant tooth loss in many adults. Periodontitis is most commonly associated with old age, but it can affect people of all ages and races. There are several factors which can lead to gum disease. In this article, we will take a look at what causes it and what you can do to treat it.
Gum Disease is caused when plaque forms on the teeth. Plaque is a sticky layer of dead cells and bacteria. If it is allowed to harden, it forms tartar, which can irritate and destroy the gums and bone supporting the teeth. Once plaque forms on the teeth, it is easy for the bacteria to build up in the mouth resulting in gingivitis or periodontitis. If you have had periodontitis, you might be experiencing gum discomfort, bleeding or swelling.
Gum disease can be caused from many things including genetics, poor oral hygiene, and even smoking. Some of the most common causes of periodontitis include diabetes, smoking, poor nutrition, and exposure to certain chemicals like household cleaners. A lack of vitamin D, poor dental hygiene, infrequent dental check ups, and smoking can also increase your risk of getting gingivitis or periodontitis.
Gum disease in children is quite rare, but can still be a concern. It is very easy to develop gum inflammation in children, mostly because they tend to brush their teeth too often and not give their mouths enough time to heal. If you notice any signs of gum disease in your child, consult with your dentist right away. Your child’s medical history will help determine if he or she should undergo treatment, or wait and see if the problem goes away on its own. Periodontitis can be treated by a visit to the dentist who will use an imaging test to look for problems in the gums and bones. Once detected, treatment includes removing pockets of plaque and tartar, and sometimes antibiotics. In some cases, dental scaling and planing might be performed to remove all of the plaque from the mouth.
As you can see, the early stages of gingivitis and gum disease are not always easy to detect on our own. You will want to check with your dentist first before treating any gum issue. If you have never had periodontitis or gingivitis, but you notice symptoms, consult with your dentist and see what he or she recommends.
It is always important to take care of your teeth and gums by brushing twice a day, flossing and visiting your dentist regularly. Regular cleanings can keep your mouth in tip-top shape and prevent gingivitis and periodontitis.