When we brush or floss and it caused our gums to bleed, that’s usually a sign it needs more attention. Swelling and bleeding are visible signs of periodontal or gum disease. Three-fourths of U.S. adults develop some form of gum disease. As with any disease, early detection is critical. Here are some of the most common causes of gum disease, along with some ways to prevent it.
6 Causes of Gum Disease
The leading cause of gum disease is a plaque or the film around your teeth that builds up due to improper teeth cleansing. Plaque is a bacterial biofilm that is a breeding ground for more bacteria and can cause gum disease and decay. With proper home care, plaque can be removed. However, it is important to schedule your regular dental visits so that a dental hygienist can assess how you are caring for your teeth and help you to improve your daily oral habits.
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Medications can affect your dental health in a variety of ways. One of the common side-effects leading to gum disease is dry mouth or xerostomia. When you have dry mouth, you create a breeding ground for all kinds of bacteria. By reducing your saliva, medications also affect the way your mouth breaks down food, allowing plaque to build up.
Nutrition, or the lack thereof, is one reason we get gum disease. Our overall health and what we eat each affect our oral health. Eating food that is high in both sugar and acidity can change both of those factors. For starters, foods that are rich in sugars have a deficiency in water and Vitamin C, which is both necessary for maintaining healthy gums. Sugars and acids also are the most significant reasons our teeth and gums break down and become unhealthy.
Uneven and overlapping teeth can make cleaning teeth difficult, which may lead to more plaque build-up. This increased plaque is what causes gum disease. Luckily, no matter how crowded your teeth are, there are always options for repair.
Smoking and chewing tobacco both have an impressively broad array of adverse effects on your health including your oral health. Cigarettes are full of chemicals that destroy your teeth and gums. If you smoke or use tobacco, your risk of getting periodontal disease dramatically increases.
Smoking decreases the blood flow to the oral mucosa, which can cause gums to appear healthier than they are. It is essential to have periodontal assessments done to diagnose periodontal disease. So, if you have bleeding gums, get to your dentist right away.
Unfortunately, we can’t always control our bodies. Our bodies change and make adjustments all the time. During these times, maintaining balance can be difficult. Pregnancy causes hormonal changes, and during pregnancy, women will find that is more difficult to keep their gums completely healthy. Inflamed gums that bleed is a side-effect of pregnancy, so routine dental care is not only safe but an essential part of prenatal care.
The Best Gum Disease Solution
There are plenty of reasons we get gum disease, but no matter what, the best solution is preventative dentistry. Brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day and scheduling an appointment with your dentist is the best way to prevent gum disease or diagnose and treat it. Learn more about gum disease health.