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Periodontal Disease: Causes & Prevention

Jun 22, 2024

Periodontal Disease: Causes & Prevention

As cheesy as it may sound, your gums are the heroes of your mouth, and it is our job and responsibility to keep them safe. A huge threat to your oral health are Periodontal or gum diseases, also known as Periodontitis. Periodontitis is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects the teeth, including the gums, ligaments, and bone. It typically develops as a result of untreated gingivitis, the initial stage of gum disease characterized by inflammation of the gum tissue. When gingivitis progresses, it can lead into the formation of periodontal pockets, which can harbor the growth of bacteria and worsen the condition. 

Let's review some causes of periodontal diseases together: 

  • Invasion of Plaque : Plaque is a film of microorganisms that grows inside the mouth on the surface of your teeth. Plaque in itself can be cleaned by practicing oral hygiene practices daily such as brushing twice and flossing. However, when plaque hardens, it forms into tartar. Tartar has to be professionally cleaned by a dentist and cannot be removed with the help of a brush or a flosser. Plaque and tartar are filled with bacteria, hence the longer they stay, the more problems they cause to our gums.

  • Ongoing gum irritation, swelling & inflammation : Irritation, swelling and inflammation  can result in the formation of deep pockets in your gum tissue. These pockets can act as a home to bacterias and fungi which will further decay your teeth and result in tooth loss. Continuous inflammation will have a harmful effect on your immune system causing other health problems.

  • Hormonal Changes : Periods of high hormonal fluctuations such as puberty, pregnancy and menopause, play a major role in developing gum diseases.

  • Smoking : Smoking reduces blood flow that automatically hinders the flow of vital nutrients and minerals into our mouth which causes a problem in the ability for the gum tissues to regenerate and repair. Smoking also weakens the immune system which does not only affect your oral health but has an impact on your overall health. 

  • Poor Oral Hygiene : Last but definitely not the least, the side effects of  poor oral hygiene cannot be stressed enough. Inadequate and improper brushing and flossing can allow plaque to form and accumulate along the gumline. Over time, plaque can harden into tartar.

Now that we have studied the causes of gum diseases, lets understand how to lower the risk for periodontal disease:

  1. Brush twice a day : Brushing at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and an electric toothbrush daily are essential for removing plaque and preventing its buildup.

  2. Floss Daily : Floss between your teeth daily with an electric flosser and keep the bacteria away.

  3. Use an Antibacterial Mouthwash : Using an antibacterial mouthwash can help prevent gum diseases by reducing the amount of bacteria in the mouth, thus decreasing the plaque buildup and lowering the risk of inflammation and infection. 

  4. Avoid Smoking : Avoiding Smoking prevents periodontal disease by improving blood flow to the gums, enhancing the immune response against bacterial infection, and reducing inflammation, thereby lowering the risk of gum tissue damage and bone loss.

  5. Visit your dentist regularly : See your dentist regularly for cleanings, usually every 6 to 12 months. If you have risk factors that increase your chance of developing periodontitis — such as having dry mouth, taking certain medicines or smoking — you may need professional cleaning more often. 

In conclusion, by maintaining good oral hygiene, regular dental checkups, and making healthy lifestyle choices, we can significantly reduce their risk of developing this common yet preventable condition. To optimize oral health, consider incorporating innovative oral hygiene essentials like ORACURA’s electric toothbrushes and cordless water flossers into your daily routine. These advanced tools offer thorough and precise cleaning , leaving you with a healthy smile.