Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a very serious and surprisingly common issue. The good news is that, if caught and treated early, it can actually be somewhat easy to overcome. Periodontal disease has many causes, and it is always important to know the root cause of this issue in order to ensure that it is treated fully and permanently.
Gingivitis and its Causes
To begin with, a very common and, fortunately, very mild form of periodontal disease is a condition known as gingivitis.
When a person has gingivitis, the gums will become irritated and swollen. They will typically be redder than normal gums and may bleed with even light contact.
The most common reason that people develop gingivitis is due to improper or insufficient dental care. Not brushing regularly or thoroughly enough, not flossing, or even not seeing a dentist for regular cleaning can all lead to gingivitis.
Diabetics are also more likely to develop gingivitis than non-diabetics. Plus, smokers, those with a family history of the condition, those with excess stress, those going through puberty, those with HIV, and those who are taking certain medications are also at a higher risk for gingivitis. With so many potential causes, those who have the condition or think they may have it are encouraged to speak with a dentist to try and target the underlying cause for the most successful treatment possible.
Periodontal Disease and its Causes
Sometimes, periodontal disease, including gingivitis, can progress to the point that it actually affects the bones and tissues. When this happens, pockets of bacteria are formed in the mouth. If left untreated, the entire mouth can decay, or teeth may be lost.
Gingivitis is often a precursor for this condition, which is why prompt attention to gingivitis is always advisable. People should also take notice of bleeding gums, often one of the only early signs of periodontal disease. By responding to this symptom, which may well be the only one, it is possible to prevent periodontal disease, which can occur for a number of reasons.
While poor dental care and gingivitis are risk factors, diabetes, smoking, age, genetics, and underlying infections can also play a role, making regular dental care and periodontal disease treatment so very important.
As you can see, periodontal disease is nothing to play around with. Everyone should see a dentist regularly, especially those who, for whatever reason, are already at an increased risk for developing gingivitis, periodontal disease, or other related conditions.