According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of every two American adults 30 and up have periodontal disease, or the advanced stages of gum disease. After hearing this statistic, many people are surprised to know that this extremely common oral condition can be easily prevented. It’s common that the signs aren’t spotted until it’s too late, which is why it’s important to be proactive about taking care of your oral health and visiting the dentist every six months for a checkup. In addition, you can examine your mouth at home for swollen, tender, or bleeding gums. Read on for the four common causes of gum disease so you can keep your mouth healthy.
Plaque and Tartar Buildup
One of the most common causes of gum disease is poor oral health that causes plaque and tartar buildup. This is a film that coats your teeth and gums made from saliva, food debris, and bacteria. Regular flossing, brushing, and rinsing with mouthwash helps remove these substances and prevent plaque and tartar from building up. However, if you’re not diligent about your hygiene routine, the accumulation of harmful oral bacteria can result in the early signs of gum disease. These symptoms include swelling, bleeding gums, irritation, inflammation, and chronic bad breath.
Side-Effects From Prescribed Medications
Many prescriptions, and even over-the-counter medications like decongestants, can cause dry mouth. Although this seems like a tame consequence to a remedy, it can actually cause harmful oral bacteria, plaque, and food particles to accumulate in your mouth and speed up the development of gum disease. Your saliva contains unique acid-neutralizing abilities that keep the acid produced as waste by bacteria from eroding your enamel and leaving your teeth vulnerable to decay. If you’re concerned about how your medications are impacting your oral health, discuss your prescriptions with your doctor and be sure to drink plenty of water to help rinse away bacteria from your mouth.
Sometimes it can be difficult to plan out your daily meals to ensure that you get all of the necessary vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay healthy. However, it’s an important step to take to keep your teeth and gums in good shape. Vitamin C found in fruits and vegetables like cantaloupe, oranges, and broccoli keep your gums protected, while calcium fortifies your tooth enamel. It’s best to avoid a diet that is high in carbohydrates and sugar, which act as food for harmful oral bacteria and turn your mouth into an ideal environment for them to thrive in.
Crowded and Misaligned Teeth
Depending on the severity of your misalignment and crowding problems, they can have a huge impact on your oral health by making it difficult for you to brush and floss effectively. Bunched-up teeth can create additional nooks and crannies of your mouth that are hard to reach to clean out plaque and food debris from. This can result in the accumulation of gum disease-causing oral substances.
You can avoid becoming a part of the CDC statistic by brushing, flossing, and rinsing with antibacterial mouthwash every day. Be sure to also visit your dentist in Bloomfield Hills every six months for routine checkups and cleanings. That way, if gum disease does begin to develop, it can be diagnosed and treated before it causes severe or permanent damage.
About the Author
Dr. Sameh Girgis graduated from the dental program at Temple, which is known for having some of the most extensive clinical requirements in the nation. He has received countless awards and advanced training with technology commonly used in a variety of periodontal procedures, including the Solea CO2 laser, Biolase Waterlase all tissue laser, and the Picasso plus diode laser. He is dedicated to providing his patients high-quality treatment, which is why he is an active member of countless professional organizations, including the American Dental Association. For questions or to schedule a consultation for gum disease therapy, visit Cranbrook Dental Care’s website or call 248-647-5434.