SC area patients ask, what causes gum disease?

Christopher T. Griffin, DMD Explains What Causes Gum Disease

Everyone has naturally occurring bacteria in the mouth. However, when Greenwood, SC area residents take poor care of their oral health and let this bacteria accumulate; it can develop into a condition known as gum disease.

Gum disease, also referred to as periodontal disease, is a condition that can be extremely devastating to an otherwise healthy smile. When patients are faced with this problem, it can cause significant damage to the bone, gums, and teeth if left untreated. It may require extractions in the future, as well as restorative services such as dental bridges or dentures. By avoiding the development of the condition in the first place, patients can reduce their risks.

Dr. Griffin is often asked by his patients, what causes gum disease? Several factors can play a part in the development of this condition. Here are some of the most common reasons gum disease begins:

Poor oral hygiene

When patients don’t take good care of their smile—including daily brushing and flossing—they may experience the development of gum disease. It is easier for gingivitis and periodontitis to develop on poorly maintained teeth and gums.

Bad habits

Smoking and chewing tobacco use can contribute to the bacteria in the mouth, and can be the cause of yellowing and staining on the enamel of the teeth. Smoking affect vascularity in addition to being an irritant that could lead to cancer.

Medications

In some cases, medication can affect the oral health. Some medications may cause dry mouth. Saliva is a natural protection against unwanted bacteria and dry mouth can result in a higher risk for developing periodontal disease.

Hormones

When hormones change, it can cause the gums to become extremely sensitive, thus more susceptible to gum disease. Puberty, pregnancy, menopause, and menstruation can cause short-term changes in the mouth.

Illnesses

Patients with medical concerns such as cancer, diabetes, and HIV may be more prone to developing gum disease. The risk of infection is greater in patients with these conditions; therefore, it is even more important to focus on oral health.

 
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