Most often than not, gum disease; often called as gingivitis; is resultant to plaque, a sticky layer of bacteria that is formed on the teeth over time. If plaque is not treated by daily brushing and flossing between teeth, it leads to irritation and inflammation in gums. These irritated tissues of gum isolates from the teeth creating gape called pockets, where it keeps developing irritation. The entire process if left untreated may continue and can harm the bone and several tissues that supports the tooth.
The major cause of gum disease is undoubtedly bacteria plaque, but there are several other risk factors that aids to this process of periodontal disease. On an average nearly 80% of individuals suffering from gum disease have been witnessed to have minimum one other reason behind their poor dental condition. Various factors are often involved like poor diet, viral infection, stress, wrong dental habits, and smoking – all play their part of role in acute necrotizing gingivitis disorder.
Some Prominent Factors Responsible for Gum Disease
As per studies of twins, the family medical histories and genetic disorders all suggest that heredity can be a risk factor in nearly 50% of patients suffering from periodontal disease. These genetic factors may include minor imperfections in the function of the immune system. Patients with these abnormalities are unable to combat bacteria, accountable for forming plaque and periodontal disease even if great oral hygiene is maintained. This is the reason children of those parents who are having periodontal disease are prone to develop these bacterial infections as much as 12 times more compared to a normal parent.
Tobacco and smoking is the most vital environmental/behavioral risk factor bringing you close to periodontal disease. The risk of severe disease increases with increased smoking. Smokers are at risk to develop tartar on their teeth compared to non smokers and have deeper pockets between their gums and teeth. They are also more vulnerable to lose bone and tissue supporting the teeth. Smoking can lead to receding gums and loss of bone if it cannot develop periodontal disease. As per the studies it has several adverse effects on the gum tissue and the functioning of the immune system. Smoking diminishes the development of antibodies that fights harmful bacteria, thus enabling them breed easily. Smoking has also been instrumental in promoting inflammation and catapults bone loss. Given all these causes, quitting smoking is necessary to prevent and handle periodontal disease.
Hormonal Changes in Female
Nearly three-quarters of dental visits are made by women, even females are known to maintain better hygiene of their teeth compared to male. Hormones of female affects gum, and they are specifically prone to gum problems. Gingivitis caused due to hormone is often witnessed in some teenagers, pregnant women, and can also be caused due to the usage of birth control medication as a side effect.
Prior to Menstruation: Gingivitis often stimulates in some females few days prior to their menstruation, when the level of progesterone witnessed to be high. While ovulation period too, the gum inflammation stirs. Progesterone widens blood vessels leading to inflammation, and stops repairing collagen, the basic protein supporting the gums.
Pregnancy: Hormonal disturbance during pregnancy is also helpful to stimulate existing gingivitis that deteriorates in the second month and reaches its peak in the eighth month. Pregnancy is not the cause of gum disease, it promotes this condition and simple preventive measure can help ward off any such situation. After delivery the gingivitis caused due to pregnancy is resolved in a few months. As it can add to the risk of low-weight infants and may also become the reason for other associated complications, it is necessary for pregnant women to visit Periodontist.
Oral Contraceptives: As per a few studies it has been reported that oral contraceptives composing of synthetic progesterone desogestrel not dienogest, multiplies the threat for periodontal disease.
Menopause: After menopause lack of estrogen decreases the mineral density in bones, which often results in bone loss. Loss of bone is linked with both osteoporosis and periodontal disorders. Loss of alveolar bone (the bone that supports the tooth) can be the reason behind tooth loss in women attained menopausal stage. Gum disease is the major reason of alveolar bone loss. It has also been reported that during menopause, a rare medical condition termed as menopausal gingivostomatitis is also found in some women. In this condition the gums become shiny, dry, and bleed easily. They also feel unusual tastes like salty, acidic, spicy, and often burning in the mouth.
Stress, be it emotional or professional, can catapult the risk of periodontal disease by suppressing the immune mechanism and welcoming the bacterial infection. The stress of clenching and grinding of teeth puts pressure on the gums and nearby tissues and it loosens the hold of teeth on the gums. A mouth guard is necessary in this condition.
It is proved that a few drugs like oral contraceptives, heart medicines and anti-depressants also lead to detrimental oral health. It is advisable to inform your Periodontist as you do with other health care providers to get the most favorable suggestions on taking medication suiting your overall health.
There are certain medical conditions like diabetes mellitus, inflammatory bowel disorder, osteoporosis, Down’s syndrome including AIDS that may lead to periodontal disease. It has been researched and established that diabetes promotes the possibility and severity of gum problem due to an unusual function of a few immune cells and decrease in formation of bone and collagen. The gum disorder may affect diabetics and vice-versa.
Albeit, the major cause of gum disease is plaque, but above stated are some of the most prominent factors that are instrumental in adding to the gum disease, which has been globally studied and established! If you are suffering from any such medical or physical condition it is advisable to consult your dentist to get the best Periodontal disease treatment to maintain a good dental health of your gums and teeth.