7 Things That Can Increase Your Risk of Gum Disease
If you have read anything about gum disease then you will already know it is incredibly common and most of us will suffer from at least some degree of gum infection during our lifetime. But is it inevitable that we will get this disease, or are some of us more likely to get it than others, and are there ways to reduce this risk?
While it isn’t inevitable that you will develop some degree of gum disease, it is certainly true that some people are more at risk than others. Knowing these risks can be very useful, especially as a good periodontist can work with you to help reduce these risks or will treat any symptoms of gum disease. So what are the risks you should be aware of?
The bad news is that you may simply be more at risk due to your genetics, but the good news is that identifying this risk means you can get early intervention treatment to avoid gum disease. If close family members have had this disease, in spite of good oral hygiene, then it might be worth finding out about genetic testing.
Stress can increase your risk of developing numerous serious health conditions including periodontal or advanced gum disease. Unfortunately, stress makes it harder for your body to fight off infections like gum disease. It isn’t always easy to reduce stress but it is worth trying to do your best for both your dental and general health.
Taking certain prescription medications can affect your dental health. This is why it is so important to make sure your dentist is aware of anything currently prescribed.
Clenching and grinding your teeth (bruxism) places a lot of force on your teeth and the tissues supporting them, including your gums. This could speed up the rate at which periodontal disease destroys your gums. If you think you might have bruxism, talk to your dentist about possible treatments. Often it is as simple as wearing a custom-made night splint.
Smoking is proven to weaken the body’s ability to fight infection. This makes it more difficult to treat gum disease and for the gum tissue to heal. Smokers are twice as likely to develop periodontal disease in their lifetime. For this reason, excellent dental habits are a must. If you do smoke, quitting can save your smile, improve your overall health, and reduce your risk for dental diseases.
6. Having a Poor Diet or Being Overweight
A good diet supports your body’s immune system so it is better equipped to fight infections such as gum disease. In addition, being overweight has been linked to an increased risk of gum disease. You’ll find your dentist can work with you to improve your diet so it is more tooth and gum friendly, benefitting your general and dental health. Often the changes needed are quite minor and easy to put into practice.
7. Poor Oral Hygiene
This is probably the biggest risk factor for gum disease as neglecting to clean your teeth frequently enough, or missing out some areas of your mouth will soon allow this infection to take hold. When don’t remove this sticky plaque from the teeth, it can accumulate on your teeth increasing the risk of dental problems.
Bleeding gums are never normal and should not be ignored. If you catch your gum disease soon enough then the chances of a complete cure are very high. Being at increased risk of gum disease definitely doesn’t mean you have to, or will develop this condition. If you suspect you have gum disease, ask your dentist about gingivitis treatment to prevent more serious dental problems.