Risk Factors of Gum Disease
Why Do We Get Gum Disease?
Dr. Amanda Canto, DDS takes gingivitis and periodontal disease very seriously and makes thorough gum care check-ups a significant part of her comprehensive wellness exams. See our Periodontal Treatment Protocol at Cosmetic Dentists of Houston for more.
Oral Hygiene (Of Course!) Makes a Difference
Brushing, flossing, and regular oral wellness exams will help reduce the amount of plaque as well as the changes of gingivitis. However, there are many other factors, such as diet and genetics to be considered when finding out if you are a susceptible to gum disease.
Genetics – Having A Family History of Gum Disease:
Roughly 30% of the general population is genetically inclined to gum disease. This does not mean it is inevitable! But it is likely that the extra care you take now will make a big difference in the future. Gum care education is essential to your long-term oral health, especially if you have a family history of gum disease.
Healthy Diet for Healthy Gums:
The bacteria that causes plaque in your mouth and periodontal disease thrives on acid and acid-causing foods! Therefore, we recommend a low-sugar, high-antioxidant, more alkaline diet to help balance and restore the proper pH level in your blood and your complete oral environment.
Stress Lowers Immune System:
They say stress can kill you, and it certainly can affect your gum health! When under high levels of stress, your immune system becomes weakened, making it harder for the body to fight against bacterial infections. Periodontal disease is a serious bacterial infection.
Poor Quality Dental Work:
Old fillings and crowns that have broken down or have been improperly contoured can become traps for plaque and debris, breeding grounds for unhealthy bacteria in your mouth, which can lead to gum disease.
Medication Side Effects:
Certain medications can cause “dry mouth” or a reduction of salivary flow. This decrease in saliva leaves your mouth susceptible to an increase of bacteria that causes gum disease, as well as cavities.
Hormones (Ladies, take note!):
Because of hormonal changes, women are more susceptible to gum problems than men. In fact, more than 75% of periodontal visits are women.
Age Plays a Factor:
Have you ever heard someone say they had perfect teeth until they were over 40, and then they all fell out? That’s right – that would be gum disease. The two primary periodontal bacterias, T. denticola P. gingivalis, are rare in young children and teenagers but tend to increase significantly as people age. Some studies indicate that roughly 25% of people over age 70 have lost teeth as a result of gum disease.
Smoking is a Serious Risk Factor:
Need another great reason to quit? Over 20 years of research has shown that smoking cigarettes is a serious risk factor for chronic destructive periodontal disease. Smoking contributes significantly to the destruction of gum tissue, attachment and bone loss, and pocket formation in addition to reducing your oral healing potential, causing a chronic unhealthy gum condition that can lead to tooth loss.
“Tobacco smoking is the main risk factor associated with chronic destructive periodontal disease. No other known factor can match the strength of smoking in causing harm to the periodontium (supporting gum tissue)”¹