Your gum line is an important part of your mouth. It contributes to your dental health and the appearance of your smile. Unluckily, certain nasty habits can compromise your gums. To better understand how to avoid serious gum problems and preserve your dental health, consider learning more about the most common culprits of gingivitis and receding gums.
Continue reading to discover the seven most widespread causes of gum problems and how to prevent them.
1. The accumulation of plaque and bacteria
Dental plaque and bacteria that coats your gums and teeth are the main causes of gum disease, which results in inflammation, redness, and pain in your gums. When plaque covers your teeth, this colorless sticky film attracts bacteria. As bacteria thrive off dental plaque, they create acid that dissolves your gum line. Proper dental hygiene and routine appointments with a dental specialist are the two main ways to prevent this problem.
2. Tooth brushing mistakes
If you brush too aggressively with a hard-bristled toothbrush, you’re risking damaging your gums. Over time, overzealous brushing can result in gum recession. To avoid it, consider using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth. Instead of performing forceful back and forth movements while brushing, try using the up-and-down or circular brushing technique.
3. Tobacco use and smoking
Smoking is detrimental not only to your lungs, but also to your teeth and gums. If you smoke, you’re more vulnerable to gingival inflammation and the potential onset of periodontal disease. Smokeless tobacco products like chewing tobacco, snuff, snus, and dip can also lead to these problems, but with the additional odds of physical damage to your gum line due to proximity. The best way to preserve your dental health is to quit using tobacco. If you can’t do that, try being more thorough with your regular dental hygiene and visit a dental specialist regularly.
4. Hormone Changes
Hormonal imbalances can put you at increased risk of experiencing pain and inflammation in your gums. These typically include abnormally high or low levels of progesterone and estrogen due to menstrual cycles, pregnancy, and birth control pills. Besides, teens that go through puberty are also prone to experience hormonal fluctuations. This is not necessarily a serious issue, but such individuals should pay extra attention to their dental hygiene and undergo routine dental checkups and cleanings.
5. Dry mouth
Specific prescription drugs and ailments can cause the salivary glands in your mouth to fail to produce enough saliva. This may result in chronically dry mouth. This problem can put you at higher risk of tooth decay and gum disease, as saliva neutralizes acids released by plaque and bacteria. To reduce your risks, try drinking plenty of fluids and consider using over-the-counter saliva replacement products like Oasis, Aquoral, SalivaSure, Caphosol, and XyliMelts. Besides, chewing sugar-free gum or sucking on sugarless candies can help increase saliva production in your mouth.
6. Systemic diseases and conditions
Various diseases are linked to different stages of gum disease. One of the major ones is diabetes. Uncontrolled diabetes can increase your chances of developing periodontal disease. If you’re diabetic, work with your doctor to keep your blood sugar levels at bay. This will help preserve both your overall and dental health.
Malnutrition occurs when your body doesn’t get essential minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients. This condition is typically prevalent in older people and drug or alcohol-depended individuals. Lack of essential nutrients can put you at increased risk of experiencing gum disease, loose teeth, and even tooth loss.
The bottom line
If you’re dealing with any of the aforementioned symptoms, see your dentist right away. A specialist will determine their cause and prescribe appropriate treatment.