The main cause of gum disease is poor oral hygiene. When brushing and flossing techniques are not carried out effectively, this allows plaque to build along the gum line. This results in infection and inflammation of your gums. The condition is known as Gingivitis and nearly all adults suffer from this to some degree. Bleeding when brushing or flossing your teeth is one of the earliest signs of Gingivitis.
Left untreated, gum disease may progress to a more severe condition known as Periodontal Disease. This is the primary cause of tooth loss in adults. Here the bacterial infection progresses to the deeper supporting tissues of the teeth known as the periodontal tissues which include the bone. As the disease progresses, the bone supporting the teeth is lost. The teeth become loosened, abscesses can form and teeth may eventually be lost.
Smoking and oral health
Patients who smoke are far more likely to suffer with more severe gum problems. Smoking causes a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream. This has an adverse effect on the healing process, so infections in the gums are slow to heal.