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Gum Disease: Causes and Risk Factors | Queens NY Dental Implants

Periodontal disease (also known as gum disease or periodontitis) affects many Americans across the country. According to a study published in 2012 by the American Academy of Periodontology, nearly 65 million Americans over the age of 30 suffer from gum disease. For adults over 65, that number increased to 70%.

Poor oral hygiene can often lead to gingivitis, a milder form of gum disease characterized by red, swollen, and bleeding gums. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis. As a result, bacteria will continue to accumulate below the gum line. Pockets develop as a result of tissue separation around the teeth over time. Understanding some of the causes and risk factors associated with gum disease can help reduce your likelihood of developing it in the future. The following are a few indicators to be aware of:

1) Maintaining good oral hygiene

The presence of plaque continues to be one of the most prominent risk factors for gum disease. Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing regularly can greatly reduce plaque buildup in your mouth. Regular dental checkups every six months are also beneficial to your dental health.

2) The use of tobacco

It is well known that tobacco use is associated with chronic health problems such as lung and heart disease, but it can also adversely affect the mouth. As nicotine in tobacco products reduces blood flow to the mouth and oxygen supply to the vessels, tobacco users are at risk for periodontal disease. Electronic cigarettes have also been linked to gum disease, in addition to traditional smoking products.

3) Genetics

Research has shown that as much as 30% of the population may be susceptible to periodontal disease due to a genetic predisposition. As a result of genetic testing, these patients can be identified early and treated appropriately.

4) The use of medications

Antihistamines, antidepressants, immunosuppressives, and oral contraceptives may negatively impact your oral health. Whereas some medications may cause swelling in the gums, others may cause dry mouth. When there is a lack of saliva production, the mouth becomes a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. Always tell your dentist about your medication use as well as your overall health.

5) Stress

Stress reduces the body’s ability to fight infections. Heart disease, high blood pressure, and even periodontal disease have been linked to stress.

6) Diabetic complications

Diabetes is a systemic disease that inhibits the body’s inflammatory response. When diabetes is difficult to control, higher blood sugar levels are often the result. There is a reduction in blood supply to the gums, resulting in a dry mouth. There is a possibility that a decrease in saliva could lead to the onset of tooth-decaying bacteria.

7) Nutrient deficiencies

While we tend to think of poor nutrition as affecting our waistlines, it can also compromise our immune system. Infections such as periodontal disease can be prevented by consuming a diet high in water and supplementing with vitamin C.

Periodontal disease is a serious condition that should not be taken lightly. You should seek treatment if your dentist has diagnosed you with this condition in order to restore a healthy mouth and life. Make an appointment with us today and leave your periodontitis in the hands of experts.

Queens Center for Implant and Sedation Dentistry
Phone: 718-767-9224
14-19 150th Street 1A
Whitestone, NY 11357