Gum disease is a condition that generally occurs in two stages. The first stage of gum disease is gingivitis – at this stage of the game the condition is reversible and reasonably easy to treat. The second stage only occurs if you leave the gingivitis stage to advance without seeking professional treatment. This is when you will begin to see more serious symptoms of the condition such as gum infections, receding gums and tooth loss.
People can develop gum disease at any age, but it is more common in adults. The reason for this is that it can take several years to fully develop and it may also be an indication of an underlying health condition such as diabetes, heart disease and even respiratory conditions. Certain lifestyle factors such as smoking are also guilty of causing gum disease in adults.
The reason that smoking increases the risk of adults developing gum disease is that it restricts the efficiency with which oxygen is circulated around the body including the gums. Tar from cigarettes also facilitates the growth of plaque and tartar on the teeth and gums, which lead to gum disease.
Diet also plays a big role in determining whether or not you develop gum disease. Diets that are high in sugar and processed or starchy foods are much more likely to result in more bacteria in the mouth, which leads to gum disease. Conversely, if you look after your diet and eat plenty of fresh, unprocessed foods, you can protect your dental health and minimize the amount of bacteria produced in the mouth. If you are not eating healthily, then your body is not as strong as it could be and will not be able to fight off infection 100 per cent effectively.
Stress can also contribute to gum disease – stress limits the body’s ability to fight of infection and the effectiveness of the immune system. This is just another reason that you should try to reduce the amount of stress in your life. It is also important to get a good amount of sleep and rest to allow your body to restore itself.