Since you were young, you have been told that you need to brush twice and floss once a day in order to prevent both cavities and gum disease, but there is actually more to it than that. Gum disease is an infection of the tissue that surrounds and hold the teeth into place. In order to remain strong, teeth reply on healthy gums. While poor oral hygiene is the most common cause for gum disease, there are other risk factors to consider as well. A dentist in Lincoln shares what they are so you know if you are at risk.
The older you are, the more likely you are to develop gum disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that over 70% of Americans over the age of 65 are currently dealing with periodontitis, the most severe form of gum disease. Half of Americans over the age of 30 are suffering from gum disease at one severity or another.
Using Tobacco Products
The use of tobacco products is linked to many serious illnesses, like cancer, lung disease, and heart disease. People who smoke are also twice as likely to develop gum disease than those who don’t. Studies also show that tobacco might be one of the most significant risk factors when it comes to the onset and progression of gum disease.
Your likelihood of developing gum disease could run in the family according to research. If there are multiple people in your family dealing with gum disease, it is especially important that you are working to maintain excellent oral hygiene. See your dentist every six months for cleanings and checkups.
Having high stress levels is linked to many serious health issues, including hypertension, cancer, and other problems. Stress also increases your risk for gum disease because it limits your body’s ability to fight off infections.
If you are currently taking oral contraceptives, antidepressants, heart medication, or other drugs, you could be at higher risk of developing oral health issues, like gum disease. This is something that you should discuss with your doctor and dentist in order to come up with the right solution for you.
If you have a medical condition that interferes with your body’s inflammatory system, this can worsen the condition of your gums. This includes cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis.
If you don’t consume all of the essential nutrients that your body needs, this will compromise your immune system and make it more difficult to fight off infections. Obesity is also a factor to be considered that can increase your risk.
Oral hygiene is important, but it isn’t the only thing that contributes to gum disease. Discuss your risk factors with your dentist so you can make more informed decisions about your oral health. Your smile will thank you!
About the Author
Dr. Louis Olberding is an experienced dentist who has been working in the field for more than two decades. He earned his DDS from the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry. Currently, he is a proud member of numerous professional organizations including the American Dental Association, Nebraska Dental Association, and the Spear Faculty Club. For more information on periodontal disease or to schedule an appointment, visit his website or call (402) 488-2325.