A serious gum infection that damages gums and can destroy the jawbone is called a “gum/periodontal disease”. There are many factors that contribute to the risk of gum/periodontal disease but I am going to try to put together a list of major causes:
Genetics: If you know of your family members who lost their teeth early on (not because they were not brushing but because teeth came loose despite all efforts), that usually could be an indication that you have genes for bone loss and deep pockets, and essentially gum disease.
Systemic disease like diabetes and high blood pressure when not controlled cause the same manifestations/symptoms. There has been a lot of research done showing the correlation between gum disease and diabetes/high blood pressure and lately more papers are published showing a correlation between uncontrolled gum disease and cardiac episodes.
Smoking has long been tied to gum disease as well. Unfortunately even when one ceases smoking, the effects linger in the mouth as well as the rest of the body. So, it’s best to not even start smoking or quit very early on.
Sometimes certain medications cause a dry mouth which if not addressed/controlled, could result in heavy accumulation of plaque and tartar over time, leading to gum inflammation and disease down the road.
However the biggest of them all is lack of proper hygiene! Brushing twice/day in a proper manner, flossing at least once/day (again properly done and not speed racing through it) do wonders even in cases where a person has other issues such as the genetic predisposition or diabetes/HBP. Just having an electric toothbrush does not guaranty that you’re doing a good job with your brushing; the brush needs to be positioned properly still in the mouth and gums as well as the teeth need to be cleaned. As for flossing, it needs to be done thoroughly and consistently and not just when there is food stuck between the teeth. Don’t feel obliged to floss in the bathroom, as you could do it just as easily when watching TV or reading a magazine! And if flossing is not something that you care for, at least try to use a Waterpik when in the bathroom or shower. It’s a great device and does wonders.
Irrespective of the cause, address the gum disease as soon as possible as leaving it doesn’t result in anything favorable unfortunately. Most of the times, it’s either fear or costs that prohibits one from seeking proper treatment. However, there is a solution for those issues normally which would prevent catastrophic issues down the road such as complete loss of teeth in one’s mouth!
If you are suffering from gum/periodontal disease, contact us at Soothing Dental San Francisco to learn about your options.