While it is somewhat unusual for most people to ignore problems with their teeth, many people tend to ignore problems with their gums. However, this is a mistake. Gum maintenance should be part of a good oral hygiene plan. It makes no sense to ignore bleeding or swollen gums any more than it does ignore a toothache. So, what are some common causes of gum disease? What are some ways that it can be prevented and treated? Here are some of the leading causes of gum disease and the ways you can go about preventing it.
- Plaque: Plague is that thick film of bacteria forming on gums and teeth when people neglect to brush and floss their teeth on a regular basis. It is also one of the leading causes of gum or periodontal disease. The good news is that it is reversible in its early stages. All that is required is monthly dental visits and healthy eating and brushing habits.
- Smoking: The list of diseases and conditions that can be linked to smoking is almost too long to post here. Smoking makes your gums more susceptible to infection by disrupting the normal function of your tissues.
- Nutritional deficiencies: Getting your full complement of recommended vitamins can be hard for most of us. However, if you are not getting enough vitamin C in particular you could be causing harm to your teeth. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps with collagen synthesis. In turn, this helps you develop and maintain healthy gums.
- Heredity: Believe it or not having a history of gum disease in your family can put you at a slightly higher risk for developing bacterial infection.
- Prescription medications: Some medications have the effect of slowing down your saliva production. Since saliva naturally helps protect teeth and gums, its reduction can leave your mouth dry and susceptible to bacteria growth.