Your gums are there to protect your teeth, and keep them attached to the bone. Having unhealthy gums can cause discomfort, bleeding, and even the loss of your teeth, which is why it is important to keep them healthy. Unfortunately, a big portion of the population still suffers from gum disease, otherwise known as gingivitis.
So what is gingivitis and what causes it?
Gingivitis is the inflammation of gum tissue that surrounds the teeth, and usually results from poor oral hygiene. It often starts in places that are hard to reach, or spots you often end up missing when you brush your teeth. The food you eat, when broken down by saliva, can stick to your teeth, along with bacteria-forming plaque. When these are not removed by brushing or flossing, they can cause tartar build-up, which then makes room for more bacteria to form, damaging gum tissue. This can be the beginning of gum disease.
Symptoms of having gum disease include redness of the gums, receding gums, bleeding when you floss or brush your teeth, sores in the mouth, and bad breath. Although it can cause pain, gingivitis often causes very little discomfort early on, so you will have to be more alert to the outward symptoms.
There are many things that can contribute to the development of gum disease, and cause problems in oral health. The most common are listed below:
Indulging in Tobacco Products
Whether you smoke it or chew it, there is an element in tobacco that keeps the gums from healing, and leaves a lot of bacteria and dirt in your mouth, if you do not brush your teeth regularly.
Having Crooked Teeth
Misaligned teeth tend to be harder to clean, even more so if you have overlapping teeth. These can have little nooks and crannies that are hard to reach by your toothbrush, and gives bacteria and plaque a place to hang on to.
This can weaken your immune system, and make you more susceptible to infections, including gum disease.
Pregnancy and Menopause
Both can cause hormonal disruptions in your body, and make you less resistant to sicknesses and infections. It is important for pregnant and menopausal women to have more frequent trips to dentists in Dupont Circle DC.
There are certain medications that you are taking which may be increasing your risk of getting gingivitis. There are certain medicines that treat cancer, depression, and heart disease that can heighten your risk for gingivitis. It is important that you ask your doctor if what you are taking can cause gum disease, so you can be on the fast track to prevention.
Gum disease affects many people, and the most at risk are adults, with 47% of those above 30, and 70% of those above 65 affected by gum disease according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). That is why it is important to know the cause, and therefore, prevent it.