When most of us think about our oral health, our pearly whites are what come to mind first—but did you know that your gums are actually just as important as your teeth when it comes to keeping your mouth in an optimal state? In fact, it’s estimated that roughly half of all adults over the age of 30 suffer from some form of gum disease, making it quite a widespread and potentially severe issue. Here’s more from your dentist about a few risk factors of gum disease that you should be mindful of.
Perhaps the biggest threat to your smile and the health of your gums and teeth is poor oral hygiene—if you don’t diligently take care of your mouth by brushing, flossing, and regularly visiting your dentist for preventive care, gum disease can very easily develop and worsen. If left untreated, the disease will destroy gum and bone tissue alike.
In addition to poor hygiene, questionable lifestyle choices can prove detrimental to your oral health and drastically increase your risk of periodontal disease. Things like smoking and tobacco usage, poor nutrition, obesity, and even stress and anxiety can make it tough for your body’s immune system to fight off a gum infection.
Some risk factors for gum disease are less in our control, like systemic diseases and chronic illnesses. These include things like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, HIV/AIDS, leukemia, and other cancers or things that compromise the immune system. It’s also worth mentioning that sometimes certain medications can also trigger gum disease.
Research indicates that a majority of adults over the age of 65 experience periodontal disease; over time, the body’s immune system becomes less effective, making it easier for gum disease to progress. Certain genetic factors contribute to the condition too, including a natural tendency to be more susceptible to gum disease.
Even stress can contribute to gum disease—so if you’re starting to feel a little worried and anxious about your gum health, don’t hesitate to speak with your dentist about how to best protect your smile moving forward.
The team at Eguren Dentistry is thrilled to serve patients and families in the Edmonton, AB area. They offer a wide range of preventive, cosmetic, and restorative options including periodontal therapy. If you have any questions about the article or you or a loved one is suffering from signs of gum disease, don’t hesitate to contact the practice online or over the phone for assistance: 780-432-3430.