Posted on: 12 July 2023Share
Gum inflammation, also known as gingivitis, is a common condition that affects many people at different stages of life. It occurs when the gums become red, swollen, and bleed easily due to plaque buildup on the teeth. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on the teeth and gums, and if not removed regularly, it can harden into tartar and cause more serious problems.
There are many factors that contribute to the development of gum inflammation. Here are some of them.
Poor Oral Hygiene
Poor oral hygiene is the most common cause of gum inflammation. Inadequate brushing and flossing will likely result in greater accumulations of plaque and the eventual development of gingivitis.
Plaque is comprised of oral microbes and food particles. The bacteria consume the carbohydrate content in leftover particles of food and release acidic waste that inflames the gums. The longer the plaque and bacteria are allowed to rest on the gums, the greater the likelihood of gingival inflammation.
Hormonal fluctuations from puberty, pregnancy, menopause, and certain medical conditions can affect the blood flow and sensitivity of the gums, making them more prone to inflammation and infection. For example, pregnant women may experience increased gingival bleeding due to increased levels of progesterone, which can make the gums more reactive to plaque.
Some medications can affect the production and composition of saliva in your mouth, resulting in dry mouth. The lack of saliva can make it harder to wash away plaque and bacteria. Moreover, saliva helps neutralize the inflammatory bacterial acids and rinse away debris. People with dry mouth are more likely to develop gum disease.
Also, some medications, such as anticonvulsants, calcium channel blockers, and oral contraceptives, can cause gum enlargement or overgrowth, which can trap more plaque and make it difficult to remove with brushing and flossing.
Smoking is one of the worst habits for your gum health, as it can damage the gingival tissue and reduce its blood flow. Additionally, the gums of a smoker don't heal as easily and are more susceptible to infection and inflammation.
Poor Dietary Choices
Your diet plays an important role in your oral health, as it can provide or deprive your body of essential nutrients that support your immune system and fight infection. A balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and dairy products can help you maintain healthy gums. On the other hand, a diet that is high in sugar, refined carbohydrates, and acidic foods and drinks can erode your tooth enamel and feed the bacteria that cause plaque and gingivitis.
If you are concerned about the health of your gums, schedule a consultation with a family dentist in your local area. For more information on family dentistry, contact a company near you.