• Dr. Johnson Ozgur

Gum Disease: How to protect your teeth from periodontitis

Updated: 5 days ago

Nothing defines your identity more than your smile. From charming, cute, flirtatious, cool, cheeky, and more, your smile can convey different emotions without uttering a single word. However, this asset relies on healthy gums and teeth to fulfill its duties. According to the CDC, gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss. To protect your smile, learn how to prevent and treat gum disease.


What is Gum Disease?

Also known as periodontitis, gum disease is a progressive infection of the gums. It is a bacterial infection that damages the gums and affects one tooth or several teeth. In some cases, only certain teeth like the molars are impacted. According to CDA, 7 out of 10 Canadians develop gum disease in their lives. This progressive disease begins as mild inflammation of the gums and worsens over time. If left untreated, periodontal disease can damage your gums and jawbone. You can lose your teeth and smile in the advanced stages due to bone loss and weakened gum tissues. It also increases the risk of developing systemic diseases, such as bacterial pneumonia and heart disease.

What is the most common cause of periodontal disease?

The primary cause of gum disease is the accumulation of harmful bacteria in the mouth due to poor dental hygiene. If you don't brush or floss your teeth, food debris and plaque can accumulate. It creates the ideal condition for harmful bacteria to reproduce and colonize your mouth. In addition, bacteria deposit and tartar accumulate plaque on your teeth.


You develop gingivitis after plaque and tartar buildup inflames the gums. This gunk also produces acids that irritate the gums and increase the risk of tooth decay. As the gum's inner layer recedes, periodontal pockets will develop around the gumline. These pockets accumulate food debris and bacteria, leading to severe gum infection. Other factors contribute to or hasten gum disease, including smoking, vitamin C deficiency, low immunity, poor overall health, and hormonal changes.


What are the four stages of periodontal disease?

The periodontal disease worsens over time. According to the American Dental Association, around 42% of Americans aged over 30 years have gum disease. But only 7.8% of the patients have severe periodontitis. Here are the four stages of periodontitis:

Gingivitis:

In this stage, plaque and tartar accumulate due to poor dental hygiene. It