Gum Disease Causes

Gum disease, or periodontal disease, can range from simple gum inflammation to a serious condition that results in the loss of bone and teeth. If you have red or swollen gums, experience pain while chewing or exhibit any other warning signs of gum disease, it’s important to see a dentist right away to prevent more serious complications. Book an appointment at Red Bank Smiles for a comprehensive oral evaluation.

What Causes Gum Disease?

The human mouth is full of bacteria. When combined with mucus and other particles, this bacteria forms a sticky, colorless film on teeth called “plaque.” By practicing good oral hygiene habits, this plaque typically gets removed through brushing and flossing. Plaque that isn’t removed, however, can harden and form tartar – a hard, calcified deposit – on teeth.

If not removed by a dental health professional, tartar buildup can spread below the gum line. This buildup causes inflammation, and over time, the gums may start to pull away from the teeth and form pockets, which can become infected. Due to the bacteria and the body’s natural response, the bone and connective tissue that hold teeth in place may start breaking down, resulting in the loss of teeth and bone.

Who’s At a Higher Risk for Developing Gum Disease?

The main cause of periodontal disease is bacteria. However, there are certain diseases, medicines and oral hygiene habits that increase your risk of gum disease. Some of these risk factors include:

  • A family history of gum disease
  • Smoking and tobacco use
  • Misaligned or crowded teeth or bridges
  • Stress
  • Hormonal changes
  • Medicines that cause dry mouth
  • Certain diseases, such as diabetes, HIV and cancer
  • Poor nutrition
  • Defective fillings

Schedule an Appointment at Red Bank Smiles

Has it been awhile since your last dental checkup? One of the best ways to prevent periodontal disease is good oral hygiene, including regular visits to the dentist for cleanings and oral evaluations. To schedule an appointment at our Red Bank, NJ office, call us today at 732-471-1502.