What are the Main Causes of Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is an infection on the soft tissues of the mouth that can lead to tooth loss if left untreated. The main cause of this infection is bacteria found in plaque. Plaque is a film-like substance that builds up on your teeth, gums, and tongue surfaces. The main risks for developing periodontal disease are smoking and diabetes, as well as certain medical conditions such as HIV/AIDS or arthritis, which lead to decreased immune function.

The symptoms of periodontal disease include pain, bleeding and swelling in the gums, loss of teeth, and tooth decay. Periodontal disease can lead to further health issues such as heart disease and diabetes. Therefore, it is advised to see a Buffalo Grove dentist as soon as you see any of the symptoms of periodontal disease.

Given that periodontal disease is one of the biggest preventable causes of tooth loss, it’s no surprise that 84% of American adults are at risk. One-third of Americans over age 65 have had periodontal disease, which is why it’s imperative to keep yourself in good oral health. But what are the main causes? We’ve compiled a list below for you!

  • Poor dental hygiene

Poor dental hygiene is a significant risk factor for periodontal disease. The mouth provides a warm and moist environment for bacteria to grow, which is why proper oral care can be very important in keeping the bacteria at bay. Even though this may seem like an obvious point, it’s one that many people fail to follow. There are many ways that you can improve your dental hygiene. These include regular brushing (for 2-3 minutes every day), flossing, and using mouthwash. 

  • Use of tobacco

It’s no secret that smoking increases your chances of contracting heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease, and cancer. Not only does tobacco cause these diseases, but if you’re a smoker, you’re at a higher risk of developing periodontal disease. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to stop smoking if you are at risk.

  • Chronic stress and poor diet

Stress can cause mounting levels of cortisol, which can weaken the immune system, and if unchecked, can lead to diseases such as periodontal disease. A poor diet also causes the body to produce more cortisol, but this can be reversed through a proper diet.

  • Pregnancy and menopause

During pregnancy and menopause, the gums experience a large amount of blood and tissue fluid, which can lead to an increased risk of periodontal disease.

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