Periodontal diseases, such as periodontitis, are infections of the gums that can gradually erode the supportive structure of your natural teeth. There are many types of periodontal disease that require different approaches to treat each one of them effectively. In genetically susceptible individuals, the build-up of dental plaque is the primary cause of gum disease. Sticking to your dental hygiene routine by brushing twice daily, frequently flossing and visiting us here at Aura Dental for biannual cleaning appointments can significantly reduce the risk of developing a periodontal disease.
Why is it important to maintain proper oral hygiene?
As stated by the Canadian Dental Association, “Oral health is an important part of overall health.”
This means that taking care of your oral hygiene is just as important as monitoring the amount of saturated fats or sugars you consume in your diet. It is not separated from you bodily health but rather, is a part of your bodily health. Maintain a healthy smile and you mitigate risk of developing a variety of systemic diseases that have been associated with poor oral hygiene.
It is known that adults over the age of 35 tend to lose more teeth as a result of periodontal disease compared to tooth loss from cavities. Gum disease will affect 75% of adults at some point in their life.
What causes periodontal disease?
Typically, periodontal disease and/or decay are caused by the build-up of bacterial plaque on the tooth enamel. Over time, food particles and germs can build-up on and between your teeth, which provides a comfortable place for bacteria to inhabit and grow. The accumulation of bacteria in these regions can lead to the formation of a sticky biofilm on your teeth and/or gumline called plaque. If left untreated, plaque can develop into a hardened substance called calculus (or tartar), which appears brown or yellow in colour and can only be removed by a dental professional.
Bacteria can release an acidifying substance that can slowly erode the tooth enamel and supportive structure of your gums. As this happens, you may progressively experience tooth decay and loss of gum tissue. As well, the toxins and poisons that can be produced by bacteria may cause the gums to turn red, swell, and bleed easily.
If this irritation is left untreated and continues to occur, the gums can begin to separate from the teeth. Ultimately, this causes pockets, or spaces, to form between the gum tissue and your teeth. Over time, the size of the pockets can grow, loosening their supportive grasp on the adjacent teeth. In the most severe cases, this can result in deterioration of teeth and/or tooth loss.
Thus, the primary way to prevent periodontal disease is to maintain good oral hygiene by brushing, flossing, and scheduling your biannual dental cleanings. Of course, some individuals are more susceptible to developing this disease than others and it may be difficult to prevent it from developing.
Once periodontal disease starts, the primary way to prevent its progression is to have frequent interventive treatment performed by a dental professional.
Other factors that can influence gum disease:
- Clenching and/or grinding teeth (i.e., bruxism)
- Certain medications
- Poor diet/nutrition
- Periodontal disease
- Metabolic disorders (e.g., Diabetes)
To book an appointment with us and understand the risks of periodontal disease and/or how to prevent its development, call us at (204) 560-4500 and one of our dentists will guide you through the basics of periodontal maintenance!