The main cause of periodontal (gum) disease is plaque, but other factors affect your gum health.
Studies indicate that older people have the highest rates of gum disease. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that over 70% of Americans 65 and older have periodontitis.
Tobacco use is linked with many serious illnesses such as cancer, lung disease, and heart disease, as well as numerous other health problems. Tobacco users also are at increased risk for gum disease. Studies have shown that tobacco use may be one of the most significant risk factors in the development and progression of gum disease.
Research has indicated that some people may be genetically susceptible to gum disease. Despite aggressive oral care habits, these people may be more likely to develop gum disease. Identifying these people with a genetic test before they even show signs of gum disease and getting them into early treatment may help them keep their teeth for a lifetime.
Stress is linked to many serious conditions such as high blood pressure, cancer, and numerous other health problems. Stress also is a risk factor for gum disease. Research shows that stress can make it more difficult for the body to fight off infection, including gum disease.
Some drugs, such as oral birth control, anti-depressants, and certain heart medicines, can affect your oral health. Remember to always notify your dentist of the medicines you are taking and of any changes in your medications and/or general health.
Clenching or grinding your teeth can put excess force on the supporting tissues of your teeth and could speed up the speed at which the bone supporting your teeth can be destroyed.
Other systemic diseases that interfere with the body’s inflammatory system may worsen the condition of the gums. These include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. Interestingly, conversely, having gum disease makes you more susceptible to having these diseases.
Poor nutrition and obesity have shown to be risk factors associated with gum disease. A diet low in important nutrients can compromise the body’s immune system and make it harder for the body to fight off infection. Because gum disease begins as an infection, poor nutrition can worsen the condition of the gums. In addition, research has shown that obesity may increase the risk of gum disease.
Visit us on www.TavorminaDentistry.com for other dental and health information.