More than 3 million Americans are diagnosed with gum disease each year, making it an incredibly common oral health condition. Patients are usually in their 30s and 40s when they are diagnosed, and men seem to be more likely to develop the disease than women. Many patients are unaware that they are at risk for gum disease until their gums become red, swollen, and prone to bleeding. Regular checkups can ensure early detection and prevention, and Mesquite Dental & Implant Center is your go-to clinic for family dental care. Call us at 972-285-8020 today to schedule an appointment and discuss the risk factors for gum disease.
Gum Disease Risk Factors
Certain Health Conditions
Gum disease is a type of infection, and certain health conditions can make you more susceptible to developing infections. For example, people with diabetes and AIDS have a higher risk of infection and the treatments related to these conditions may have a negative impact on gum health. Likewise, individuals with cancer may be at a higher risk of gum disease because cancer treatments can also affect the health of gum tissue. If you have a medical condition like these, it is important to be proactive about your dental care and diligent about your oral hygiene routine.
Saliva is an essential component of a healthy mouth, as it helps protect and sustain both hard and soft tissues from injury and infection. Certain medications may reduce the amount of saliva you produce, putting you at a higher risk for infections like cavities and gum disease. Some medications can also cause your gum tissue to grow excessively or abnormally, making it difficult to thoroughly brush and floss. This, too, can lead to increased bacteria and odds of oral infections, including gum disease.
We all know that smoking is detrimental to cardiovascular health, but did you also know that it is also a leading risk factor for gum disease. In fact, smokers are three to six times more likely than non-smokers to develop gum disease in the course of their life. This might be because smoking reduces the flow of saliva, which we know can be detrimental to your oral health. In addition to increasing the chances of developing gum disease, smoking can make treating the condition much more difficult and possibly ineffective, as smoking has a negative impact on the healing capabilities of oral tissue.
Hormonal Changes in Women
In the early stages of gum disease, plaque and tartar that have not been routinely removed from teeth can harbor harmful bacteria. This can lead to inflammation, commonly referred to as gingivitis. The hormonal changes that women go through during their life, especially during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause, can make gum tissue more sensitive. When this happens, it is easy for bacteria to take hold and develop into an infection. Gingivitis is easily treatable if cause early, but if it is allowed to progress, may turn into destructive gum disease.
Finally, in addition to medical conditions, medication, smoking, and hormone fluctuations, genetics is often to blame for the onset of gum disease in some patients. Just as some people have been lucky enough to inherit “good teeth” from their parents, some may inherit teeth that have weak enamel and sensitive gum tissue. If you have developed gum disease because you were genetically predispositioned to the condition, working with an experienced periodontal therapy provider like Dr. George can help you manage and stabilize the disease.
Mesquite Gum Disease Therapy
Are you concerned that you have the early stages of gum disease? If so, then it is important to schedule an appointment with a local dentist as soon as possible. Mesquite Dental & Implant Center is accepting new patients, and we would love to speak with you about your oral health concerns. Please call our office today at 972-285-8020. We look forward to speaking with you!