The Causes of Poor Gum Health
The health of your gums can affect your overall health. Unfortunately, not all causes of poor gum health are within your control. In most cases, though, you can keep your gums in good shape simply by brushing and flossing every day. At the Cosmetic Dentistry Institute in Troy, MI, our dentists offer several restorative dentistry treatments to return your gums to a healthy state.
Causes of Poor Gum Health
The most common cause of poor gum health is a lack of good oral hygiene. To keep your gums healthy, you need to brush twice each day and floss once per day. You also need to get regular dental cleanings and checkups. These appointments remove the plaque buildup from your teeth and gums. They also detect early signs of gingivitis, which is the only stage of gum disease that is reversible.
Other preventable causes of gum disease include:
- Use of tobacco products
- A diet high in sugar and processed foods
- Alcohol consumption
There are a few other causes of poor gum health that are out of your control:
- Fluctuations in hormones during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause
- Misalignment of the teeth
- Cancer and cancer treatments
- Certain medications
Our dentists will carefully review your medical history and discuss any current medications you are taking to determine the cause of gum disease. Even if the above causes are not within your control, you can still take steps to lower your risk by being diligent with your oral hygiene routine.
Importance of Good Gum Health
Your gum health is much more important than you probably thought. Some minor bleeding every now and then when you brush your teeth may not seem like something to worry about. But when that eventually turns into an infection, your teeth and overall health are at risk.
In the more advanced stages of periodontal (gum) disease, the tissues, bone, and ligaments that hold the teeth in place become infected. At this point, the teeth may feel loose and may even fall out. This can leave unattractive gaps in your smile and result in bone loss in the jaw.
On top of tooth loss, patients with gum disease are at a greater risk for other serious health complications. Recent studies have linked inflammation and infection of the gums with conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, dementia, and more. Additionally, the infection has the potential to enter your blood stream, significantly increasing your risk of a stroke.
How to Get Your Gum Health Back On Track
Continue brushing and flossing daily, and if it’s been more than six months, schedule a dental cleaning and check up. For patients with gingivitis, this is often all that’s needed. If your periodontal disease is more advanced, you may need a deep cleaning, also known as scaling and root planing. In serious cases, you may need gum surgery or tissue grafting.
Schedule an Appointment Today
If you’ve noticed your gums are bright red or you have some bleeding when you brush and floss, it’s time to schedule an appointment at the Cosmetic Dentistry Institute.