Also known as gum disease, periodontal disease is a bacterial infection that affects the gums and bones supporting the teeth. It is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. Periodontal disease is caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms on teeth.
Periodontitis is a severe gum disease that can damage the soft tissue and bone supporting the teeth. Many factors can increase your risk of developing periodontal disease, and we look at them below. If you have any risk factors for periodontal disease and live in and around Beverly Hills and Century City, you should see Dr. Meredith Levine to address them.
Tobacco use is the most crucial risk factor for periodontal disease. Smoking cigarettes, cigars, or smokeless tobacco significantly increases your risk of gum disease. People who smoke are more likely to develop gingivitis and periodontitis than nonsmokers. They also tend to have more severe forms of these diseases.
If you do not brush and floss your teeth daily, you are at an increased risk of developing periodontal disease. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on teeth. If plaque is not removed, it can harden and turn into tartar. Once tartar builds up, it can irritate and inflame the gums. This can lead to gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease.
Certain health conditions can increase your risk of developing periodontal disease. These include diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and cancer. People with these conditions are more likely to develop infections in the mouth. They may also have a harder time fighting off these infections.
Although not a direct cause, age is a risk factor for periodontal disease. As you age, your gums may recede (pull away from the teeth). This can make it easier for plaque and tartar to build up. The saliva may also become less effective at washing away bacteria.
The main risk factors for periodontal disease are tobacco use, poor oral hygiene, and certain health conditions. If you have any of these risk factors, contact Dr. Meredith Levine, a gum disease specialist serving residents in and around Beverly Hills and Century City, California, to discuss your treatment options. If you already have an infection, Dr. Meredith Levine also offers effective treatments for infected gums. Call (424) 358-3811 to schedule an appointment today.