Causes of Gum Disease

Discover the reason why you have gum disease and why it might be holding your smile back.

Periodontitis – Most Common Causes

 Gum disease is often a big problem for many of our patients.

Not only does it make your breath smell and leave a metallic taste in your mouth, but it eats away at your gums, causing dark triangular pockets to form between teeth as the gums begin to recede.

When gum recession happens, teeth can become wobbly and loose!

Once this happens, tooth loss is very likely. And if you have already lost one tooth, you can likely expect to lose more.

If you smoke, problems often occur first with the gums at the back of your mouth. The tar in cigarettes coats the gums and causes irritation. Smokers, therefore, have more tartar which also adds to poor oral health.

gum disease has missing teeth consequences

The main known causes of gum disease

Our mouths are the perfect homes for bacteria, so there’s no surprise that they are full of it.

It’s because of bacteria, alongside mucus and other particles that consistently form sticky, colourless plaque on teeth.

Good oral hygiene, like brushing and flossing, can help remove plaque.

When it is not removed it hardens on the teeth and forms tartar, which brushing will be unable to clean.

Only dental professionals can effectively remove tartar.

Other well-known common causes of gum disease:

  • Plaque build-up
  • Smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Female hormonal changes
  • Prescription medication
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Crooked teeth
  • Family history and genetics
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Why you need to understand plaque

Gums attach to the teeth at a lower point. This forms a space called the sulcus, where food often gets trapped.

When the food is not cleaned away, it becomes trapped in this space and then causes a gum infection (gingivitis).

Plaque is a very thin film of bacteria which constantly forms on the surface of the teeth.

As this plaque advances, it gets harder and turns into tartar. This cannot be removed through cleaning alone.

Left unchecked and ignored, gingivitis can quickly cause the gums to separate from the teeth, which leaves the tooth vulnerable as it becomes unstable, loose and wobbly.

This is often a sure sign of receding gums. If the infection progresses, you will ultimately lose your teeth.

Does gum disease go away?

Not on its own.

It’s also important to remember that once you’ve reached a certain stage of periodontal disease (advanced periodontal disease), it cannot be cured, but it can be treated.

If gum disease is found in the early stages it can be reversed, and there are certain treatments we can use to reattach gums to the teeth. However, if gums begin to recede, there is no way to make them grow back.

That’s why every dentist, implantologist and periodontist claims that treating your gum disease as soon as you spot the signs is crucially important.

the consequences of missing teeth

Symptoms to act fast on include:

The risks

Whilst there are several risk factors for gum disease, smoking is probably one of the most significant.

Smoking while undergoing gum disease treatment can also make it less successful.

Other risk factors include diabetes, hormonal changes, medications and genetic susceptibility.

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The best treatment for gum infections:

Whilst a dentist can help to treat symptoms of gingivitis properly, it’s important that you also do your part. You should cut back on smoking and keep up with a rigorous oral hygiene routine.

Treatments include:

Deep tooth cleaning: Involves scaling to remove tartar from above and below the gum line. Then, root planing to smooth rough spots and remove plaque or tartar from the root surface. Lasers can also be used to remove tartar with less pain or bleeding.

Antibiotic medications: Antiseptic mouthwash or oral antibiotics can be used to treat persistent areas of inflammation and disinfect the mouth.

Surgery: This can include flap surgery; bone grafts (necessary for dental implants) and guided tissues regeneration. A dentist will usually identify which will be the best treatment for your unique case.

Periodontal laser therapy: Lasers are widely used to treat periodontal disease, stimulating stem cells to form new connective tissues and bone. Then, the body will use its healing process to regenerate these lost ligaments.

Dawn SwansonDawn Swanson
10:27 24 Nov 22
I have been with the Gentle Dental Practice for 8 years, the care and service I have received has always been 5 star. I have recently used their new hygienist Nicky who is great. Looking for a new dentist just contact their very friendly and proffessional team.
George HorseyGeorge Horsey
18:54 15 Nov 22
Dental Impant Surgery:I had my dental implants fitted recently and I am extremely happy with the outcome. Ali and the team have done an amazing job since I lost my 2 front teeth over 6 years ago. I had to wait for the surgery for a long time due to my age and the issues surrounding having implants at a young age.I finally had the surgery 12 weeks ago and had my two new crowns fitted last week. They look absolutely amazing and the whole procedure was way less painful than I ever thought it would be.I would highly recommend getting your implants done at the Gentle Dental Practice, you won't regret it!A massive thank you to everyone at the practice!
Deeban SkandalingamDeeban Skandalingam
12:06 03 Nov 22
Fantastic work on my teeth and I would highly recommend! My teeth turned out better than I had even hoped for. If you are in need of any dental work, you would be doing a great disservice if you didn't speak to this practice first. The staff were extremely friendly, there were text updates and all in all an excellent service from start to finish. If you haven't guessed already, I am thoroughly pleased with The Gentle Dentle. Thank you!
Pippa HarveyPippa Harvey
14:54 26 Oct 22
Like many people, I have an immense fear of dentistry, and dentists, due to previous experiences.I had two broken teeth and one that had been treated incorrectly by an NHS dentist. I had been in daily pain for about 18 months, and had been put on a 6 month waiting list by my NHS dentist.I called gentle dental to explain my problem and they offered me a same day appointment. They were kind, compassionate, understanding, patient and validating. I’m not sure anybody ever feels completely comfortable in the chair, but It’s the closest I’ve ever come!The work needed was carried out, all of the staff were kind and welcoming, and it showed me that the dentist doesn’t have to be a dreaded place!Thank you so, so much gentle dental! I will definitely be returning.
Tilesh PTilesh P
15:45 14 Sep 22
Dental Implants - 3 New Teeth - June 2022I had the most professional and pain free experience when getting my new tooth implants at Gentle Dental. Honestly I put it off for some many years because I just didn't want to go through the pain. But my experience was totally the opposite. Ali and the wonderful girls were there every step of the way. All my questions got answered and I was reassured everything would work out well. And it did. I was worried for no reason.I did think about going abroad to have it done but when you consider the risk factor, time and professional standards - it made no sense to me. I have known Ali for a long time and knew I would be in the best hands and if there were any issues these would could be resolved easily.If you are thinking of having dental implants at Gentle - don't waste any more time. Just book and get it done.Was it painful ? No, uncomfortable for a few days, yes for sure.I just wish I had it done sooner. Thanks guys, love my new teeth 🙂
Edward CrameEdward Crame
13:43 04 Dec 21
Very happy with all aspects of the work they have done. Very clean, professional and well run business.
Lynn HuddartLynn Huddart
12:43 24 Nov 21
Dr Ali Rifai was professional and I am very pleased with the outcome of my Invisalign's. I have been with this practice for many years and would highly recommend. The staff are very friendly and nothing is an issue.
Jonathan PlumbJonathan Plumb
11:52 24 Nov 21
Can't thank this practice enough for all their help. I don't post reviews very often, so when I do, it's because an impression has been left! Dr Ali saw me at short notice to help fix a broken tooth. The nurse (I think her name was Danni) was so helpful and kind, as were the rest of the team. Thank you for being there for me in my hour of need (the same day i asked for an appointment!)
Eva AugustEva August
07:11 06 Nov 21
I’m so happy to find this practice. I suffer from anxiety and high sensitivity to pain. It was very stressful for me going to dentist after years of fear. The team not only make me calm and welcome but I FELL ASLEEP during treatment with Dr Marshall ! So understanding and caring. Thank you!
Marc NevittMarc Nevitt
11:35 11 Oct 21
I have been using this dentist for well over a decade and can honestly say my teeth would be in a far worse situation if wasn’t for the Gentle Dental practice.My most recent visit was for a filling .. barely felt the injection!I would highly recommend this dentist to anyone, but especially if you’re teeth require a high level of care like mine.
Emma BrauerEmma Brauer
08:44 04 Aug 21
This place was recommended to me by family and for a nervous patient the best experience. The reception welcome is cheerful and friendly, beautifully modern area with hot drinks and water on offer.I needed implants, crowns and bridges followed by whitening, so lots of appointments. My dentist Mr Ali Rafai was superb from start to finish, so professional and personable. Throughout the whole process I was cared for wonderfully plus lots of laughs along the way. The constant care during appointments was very comforting, no rushing, and I knew I my needs were Mr Rafai's priority. Plus check up call the next day without fail to make sure everything was going well.Absolutely deserves five stars!
Alan SamuelAlan Samuel
13:30 14 Jul 21
Fantastic experience with Ali. It took 18 months including bone grafting, removing and replacing failed dental implants, invisaline for my bottom teeth which were all over the place and some veneers but now I'm delighted with the outcome.Ali was always very clear about how this wasn't an overnight solution in an honest and forthright manner which gave me confidence that he would deliver results.I was offered several overnight solutions from other dentists locally at a fraction of the cost but when I see how much effort and detail that went into my plan, I know i made the right choice.
Kurt JohnsonKurt Johnson
17:48 14 May 21
I have got no complaints about this Dental Practice. They were all very friendly and accommodating and always professional.My dental treatment was also really good, everything went according to plan and the results are great!I am VERY happy with the outcome and would recommend them anytime!

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