Have you noticed that your gums are inflamed even with regular flossing and brushing? Perhaps your dentist has referred you to a periodontist because he or she is concerned about your gum health. Periodontal (gum) disease is a common oral health concern that has destructive effects when left untreated. This is why it’s important to practice proper oral hygiene, receive routine preventive care, and seek treatment when recommended.
How Gum Disease Develops
Many people believe that a lack of oral hygiene is the sole contributor to periodontal disease. While gum disease is often caused by inadequate or improper oral hygiene, there are other factors that can contribute to inflamed and infected gums. Factors that contribute to the development of gum disease include hormonal fluctuations, lifestyle choices, medications, and general health conditions.
Hormonal fluctuations, such as those present during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause, contribute to periodontal disease. These fluctuations increase blood flow to the gingiva, which can lead to sensitivity and irritation. During times of hormonal fluctuations, patients should practice meticulous oral hygiene and receive routine checkups and cleanings.
Tobacco use, especially smoking cigarettes or cigars, inflames the gingiva. Inflamed gingiva is more susceptible to infection. Quitting smoking can reduce your risks for a number of health conditions, including gum disease.
Certain Medications and Health Conditions
Medications such as anti-depressants and antihistamines, along with conditions like diabetes have drying effects on oral tissue. Dry mouth inflames and irritates the gingiva and increases the risk for periodontal disease.
If medications or health conditions are to blame for dry mouth, we recommend increasing water intake and maintaining a proper oral hygiene routine to protect your oral health.
Periodontal disease is a serious risk to your oral health. Our periodontist provides treatment for various stages of gum disease. Call us today to reserve a consultation with our expert team.