Gum disease symptoms for most of us will start to show in our thirties. But if oral hygiene is not up to standards most of us will have some form of gum disease earlier in life since gum disease can start at any time or any age. There are young adults at the age of 12 or 13 that can show loss of bone and gum infection. But there are other factors that play a part in the onset and progression of gum disease for example men (56.4%) will be more affected than women (38.4%) and those who smoke have a higher risk too (64.2%).
Other factors that can put the average Australian at risk of developing gum disease include diabetes, stress, AIDS, certain medications, and even female hormonal changes. Sometimes, it can even just be in your genes, since genetics play a main role in determining how the body will respond to a gum infection.
What Causes Gum Disease to Develop?
Gum disease begins with plaque or dental biofilm that stays on your teeth for too long. Plaque can be removed by regular brushing and flossing, but if it stays on the teeth longer than 2 or 3 days, it can turn into calculus, which hardens under your gum line. Once calculus forms there will be a need to remove it with ultrasonic or hand scalers.
While the plaque and calculus are attached to the teeth, the baceria in them release toxins that inflame and irritate the gums. Once the inflammation begins, you’ll usually notice your gums are swollen, tender, and/or bleeding, especially after brushing or flossing. This condition is the beginning stage of gum disease, called gingivitis.
If left untreated, the infection will spread to larger parts of the gum tissue and will lead to pocket development between gums and teeth . Those pockets fill up with more plaque and bacteria. Leading to the advanced stages of gum disease, where supporting bone loss occurs, called periodontitis. The more the gum disease advances, the deeper infections can go, which can lead to tissue and bone loss and eventually teeth will need to be remmoved.
What You Can Do to Fight Gum Disease
To ward off the risk of gum disease be sure to brush your teeth twice a day and floss regularly. It is important to keep your regularly scheduled dental cleaning appointments and not smoke. If you have more questions about the condition of your gums or if you would like more information about gum disease, please ask Dr. Kaufman or schedule an appointment for a consultation.