The Causes of Gum Disease
by Dr. Beau Beecher, DDS on 10/15/2018
Protecting your gums is essential to oral health.
Sometimes referred to as a “silent killer,” gum disease is typically painless in the early stages, so you may not even be aware that you have it. So if you suspect you might be experiencing the symptoms of gum disease, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with your dentist.
If you catch it early enough, more frequent dental cleanings could be all you need.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease begins with gingivitis, which is a buildup of plaque on your teeth. As a result, your gums can become red or puffy and irritated to the point that they may even bleed.
If untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis, a more severe form of gum disease that spreads beneath your gum line and causes your gums to recede. This creates pockets between the gums and the teeth, allowing for additional bacteria build-up and opening the door to infection.
This can damage the tissues and bones in your mouth and even result in tooth loss.
What causes gum disease?
First and foremost, poor oral hygiene can lead to gum disease. Even with regular brushing and flossing, there may be plaque on your gum line that you’re not able to reach. So ensure you are making regular visits to the dentist for a deeper cleaning.
There are also a number of medical factors that may leave you susceptible to gingivitis. People who have been diagnosed with diabetes, heart disease, and even arthritis are not as capable of fighting infection and more prone to inflammation and infection.
Pregnant women are also more vulnerable to gingivitis than the average person due to hormonal changes that can result in sensitive gums.
Can it be treated?
Gingivitis, in most cases, is reversible and can be treated with a professional dental cleaning, although the patient will need to brush and floss regularly afterwards to avoid a relapse.
In the case of periodontitis, treatment options will vary depending on the severity of the infection. But Kimball & Beecher offers a nonsurgical treatment and soft-tissue program that has helped patients avoid tooth loss and maintain healthier bone structures.
To schedule a cleaning or to explore treatment options, take the first step to restoring your smile and call your local Kimball & Beecher office!