Gingivitis and periodontitis
Gum disease can be caused by a number of factors, butpoororal hygiene is the most common cause.
Poor oral hygiene, such as not brushing your teeth properly or regularly, can cause plaqueto build up on your teeth.
Your mouth is full of bacteria thatcombine with saliva to form a sticky film known as plaque, whichbuilds up on your teeth.
When you consume food and drink high in carbohydrates (sugary or starchy foods), bacteria in plaque turn carbohydrates into the energy they need, producing acid at the same time.
Over time, acid in plaque begins to break down your tooth's surface and causes tooth decay.
Other bacteria in plaquecan alsoirritate your gums, making them inflamed and sore.
Plaque is usually easy to remove by brushingand flossingyour teeth, but it can harden and form a substance calledtartarif it's not removed.Tartar sticks much more firmly to teeth than plaque and can usually only be removed by a dentist or dental hygienist.
As well as poor oral hygiene,a number of things can increase your risk of developing problems with your gums. These include:
Gum disease is a very common condition where the gums become swollen, sore or infected.
Healthy gums should be pink, firm and keep your teeth securely in place. Your gums should not bleed when you touch or brush them.
Gum disease can be caused by a number of factors, but poor oral hygiene is the most common cause.
The best way to treat gum disease is to practise good oral hygiene, although additional dental and medical treatments are sometimes necessary.
If you develop gingivitis and do not have the plaque or tartar (hardened plaque) removed from your teeth, the condition may get worse and lead to periodontitis.