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What causes periodontal disease?

When it comes to the initial cause of periodontal disease, plaque is the culprit. This thin, colorless, sticky film contains bacteria and constantly forms on the teeth. These bacteria use sugars and starches to produce an acid that attacks the enamel covering the teeth and can cause gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. After repeated acid attacks, the enamel can be broken down and a cavity begins. Continued acid attacks break down the enamel, cause cavities and eventually penetrate the tooth's structure, causing periodontal disease. Protect your teeth from acid attacks by brushing and flossing to remove plaque, reducing the amount of sugar and starches you eat, using fluorides, asking your dentist about plastic sealants that can be applied to teeth, and by regular cleanings by a dental hygienist. There are several stages to gum disease. You're far better off and able to combat gum disease with help from your dentist if you catch it early on. This is one of the many reasons why dental checkups every six months is so important. During these routine visits, your dentist can check on gum health, as well as a number of other preventative checks to maintain your oral health.