Gum disease begins with plaque, which forms in everyone’s mouth. Ideally, it is removed regularly, and does not have the opportunity to cause disease. However, plaque often lingers too long for reasons such as infrequent professional dental care, lax hygiene habits, and dental problems that make brushing difficult, such as cavities or crooked teeth.

Although good hygiene is imperative to gum health, it is not the only factor. Some people are far more likely to develop gum disease than others are, even with identical hygiene habits. The most common risk factors include:

  • Age – Statistically, the older you are, the more likely you are to get gum disease. Nearly three out of four Americans over the age of 65 are afflicted.
  • Poor nutrition – When we think of malnourished individuals, we think of “skin and bones” starving people. However, anyone who is not consuming an adequate amount of balanced nutrition will have deficiencies.
  • Tobacco use – Smoking, or using smokeless tobacco products, inhibits your immune system, leaving you more vulnerable to a variety of medical conditions, including periodontal disease.
  • Genetics – Research indicates that certain people are genetically predisposed to gum disease. These individuals may be at risk even if they have excellent hygiene habits, making dental care even more important.
  • Medications – Some prescription drugs, such as heart medicine, anti-depressants, and birth control pills, can affect your oral health. It is important to tell your dentist about any medicines that you take.
  • Diseases – Many health conditions trigger systemic inflammation or inhibit the body’s natural immune system.
  • Stress – Researchers have linked mental stress to physical health in many ways, including a higher instance of periodontal disease. It is believed that excessive stress actually reduced one’s natural resistance to infection.
  • Bruxism – Grinding or clenching your teeth puts immense strain on your teeth, which is transferred to the periodontal tissues, which can increase the damage of gum disease.
We are here to help Call us at (708) 576-1900 or Schedule an Appointment

Although some people are more susceptible to oral disease, everyone is at risk, making regular dental checkups important. Dr. Dietrich will check for signs of gum disease, decay, oral cancer, and other health problems, because early detection allows for the most successful and conservative treatment with virtually any condition. Call us at (708) 576-1900 and schedule your appointment today.

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