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Are You at Risk for Gum Disease?

April 28, 2021

There are certain factors that can put you at a higher risk of gum disease that you can’t control, but then there are others that you can. Either way, it’s important to know whether or not you are at risk. While gum tissue can not grow back once it has receded, there are actions you can take to avoid it or slow the process if you have a predisposition to it. Your Anthem dentist explains what factors put you at a higher risk of developing periodontal issues and how you can take action to lower your chances of getting them.

What Causes Gum Disease, and How Can You Avoid It?

Did you know that nearly 50% of the U.S. population alone suffers from some form of gum disease? Here are some of the factors that can contribute to your likelihood of getting it as well as some practical ways to fight it.

Age

This is obviously one that is not within your control. As much as you’d probably love to be able to turn the clock back several years, the reality is that your body’s ability to fight off infections will continue to wane over time. The good news is, you can set your gums up for a healthy journey now by brushing and flossing on a daily basis in order to remove plaque build-up and bacteria that are responsible for gum disease.

Tobacco

It’s no secret nowadays that tobacco is not good for your overall health, but did you know it is also one of the leading causes of gum disease? The chemicals in the makeup of it contain harmful substances that can damage your gums and increase the bacteria in your mouth. It’s best to avoid smoking or the use of tobacco altogether, not just for your periodontal health, but for the rest of your body as well!

Genetics

Another factor that weighs into the increased risk of developing gum disease is genetics. There is a reason why any time you visit a medical practice as a new patient, they want to know any illnesses that existed in your family’s history. If gum disease was something that your parents or grandparents struggled with, it’s important to communicate this to your dentist so that they can be aware of how to help you avoid it.

Grinding or Clenching Your Teeth

This is an extremely common thing that many people do without even realizing it. Whether it’s during sleep or as a result of stress and anxiety, both of these actions can put excess pressure on your periodontal tissue and lead to recession and infection of the gums. If you suspect you may be clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth, make sure to see your dentist so that they can thoroughly inspect your mouth and prescribe a protective bite guard if necessary.

Systematic Diseases

There are certain diseases, such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and cardiovascular disease that get in the way of how the body’s inflammatory system is supposed to work. These can lead to reduced ability to fight off infections and contribute to the worsening of periodontal disease. Make sure to let your dentist know if you have been diagnosed with any of these conditions so that they know how to best treat you.

Lousy Nutrition and Obesity

These two tend to go hand in hand as to cause and effect. If a person’s diet is low in essential vitamins and minerals that are needed to keep the teeth and gums healthy, it can make the gums more susceptible to infection. Research has also shown that in addition to many other health issues, obesity can also increase the risk of gum disease due to excess bacteria in the mouth from eating unhealthy foods and doing so frequently.

Regardless of what the risk factors for gum disease may be, they definitely should not be ignored. If you think you may be a prime candidate for it, talk to your dentist about prevention and treatment options so that you can keep your smile healthy and looking beautiful for years to come!

About the Practice

Dr. Connor Stevenson and Dr. Kenneth Williams lead the team of experts at Anthem Dentistry. When it comes to keeping your gums healthy, you won’t find a better practice to call home. They believe that the best way to tackle any oral issue is to get ahead of it by understanding the risks and how to fight against them. They have years of experience and education under their belts to help them provide the highest quality of care to all of their patients. Do you think you may be at risk for gum disease? You can schedule an appointment online or call (623) 246-4741.