Any dentist will tell you that gum disease is a health condition that you don’t want to mess with. It can lead to decaying and lost teeth, it has been linked to other conditions such as stroke or heart attack, and it just isn’t as attractive as a set of pink gums surrounding gleaming white teeth.
In order to avoid dealing with periodontal disease, one of the first steps you should take is to assess your gum disease risk to see which preventative measures are right for you. Your dentist is the most qualified to perform this assessment and you should definitely ask for his or her professional opinion. You can also take a look at the following risk factors for periodontal disease to see which ones currently apply to you.
- Age – According to studies, your risk of having gum disease nearly doubles once you reach the age of 65. The oral system is affected by aging just like the rest of the body, but with the right dental approach you should be able to keep periodontal disease at bay.
- Gender – Women are more likely to have gum disease, which is mainly due to their hormones. As they make their way through puberty, pregnancy and menopause, their hormones change and create an opportunity for gum disease to take root.
- Smoking – Smoking is a well-known contributor to gum disease, and it also makes the disease harder to treat.
- Poor dental hygiene – Brushing and flossing are two of the best ways to ward off disease, along with regular visits to the dentist. Without doing these things, plaque is free to attach itself to teeth and cause inflammation and swelling in the gums.
- Medications – Certain medications can hasten the arrival of periodontal disease. This side effect will usually be explained to you by your doctor and as on your medication’s label.
- Health conditions – People with certain health conditions are more likely to develop gum disease. These conditions include diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis and some auto-immune diseases.
- Unhealthy diet – People who eat unhealthy foods on a daily or near-daily basis have an increased risk of gum disease.
- Stress – Don’t stress out about this, but stress is a factor that can actually lead to periodontal disease. A healthy body is usually great at defending against the infection that causes gum disease, but stress makes it much harder to accomplish that important task.
- Other dental problems – Existing problems with teeth or even faulty dental work are suspected of being gum disease causes. The gums can be irritated, inflamed or infected by problems such as fillings with abrasive edges, misaligned teeth, or oral appliances that are dirty or don’t fit correctly.
As we mentioned earlier, your dentist is the first person you should have assess your risk factors and come up with ways to keep your gums healthy. Some aspects are simply out of your control, but for many others you have the power to prohibit them from affecting your gums. Visit Dr. Poss your cosmetic dentist in Nashville, TN to find out about keeping your gums healthy.