You could have gum disease already. So could people that you love and care about.
Even if you don’t have periodontal disease now, it’s possible you could develop it in the future. We hope you don’t — and not just because gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the United States.
At our dentist office in Kennewick, WA, we know that knowledge is power in the fight against gum disease. That’s why we hope you brush and floss your teeth daily. That’s why we hope you will visit Marineland Dental Care a few times each year for professional dental cleanings and exams.
And it’s why we want you to learn about risk factors that could make you more likely to develop gum disease.
Do Any Of These Gum Disease Risk Factors Sound Familiar?
Gum disease is one of the most common health issues in the country. It will affect most people at one point or another. According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly half of adults 30 and older have some form of gum disease.
With that in mind, what factors could increase your odds of developing a gum infection? Some of these risk factors are things you can control, others are factors that are out of your hands. Nevertheless, what you do about them remains up to you.
You can start by knowing your risk factors:
Smokers are more than twice as likely to develop gum disease as nonsmokers, according to data by the National Institutes of Health.
In truth, any tobacco use is bad for your oral health (and your overall health). It weakens your immune system, which makes it harder to treat gum disease and makes it more likely that your infection will return.
By quitting or avoiding tobacco use entirely, you will be reducing your gum disease risk along with your risk for other more serious conditions. The Washington State Department of Health has programs for people interested in quitting.
☐ Having Diabetes
Next to tobacco use, having diabetes may be one of the biggest indicators that someone will develop gum disease. Keeping your blood sugar under control can help you keep your gums healthy.
At the same time, the American Diabetes Association has reported that the connection between diabetes and gum disease may be a double whammy. Periodontal problems may make it more difficult to keep your blood sugar under control.
Either way, you have an incentive to manage your diabetes and to do what you can to prevent or treat gum disease.
Remember, Marineland Dental Care is here to help. Just call 509-591-0515.
☐ Going Through Hormone Changes
This is something every female should know. First, we want to be clear that men are more likely than women to have gum disease.
However, there is a caveat to that. Females have a higher risk of periodontal problems when they are going through hormone changes. This includes puberty. This includes pregnancy. This includes menopause.
If you are going through any of these important transitions, we encourage you to be vigilant about your oral health.
☐ Getting Older
This may not be a surprise. As we get older, our bodies just don’t work as well as they did when we were young. That includes our immune system, which is why we become more susceptible to infections like gum disease.
The CDC report we mentioned earlier also noted that 7 in 10 adults 65 and older have some form of gum disease.
If you are over 65, routine dental exams become even more important for your oral health.
☐ Family History
You inherit a lot of things from your parents. For better or worse, one of them may be an increased risk for gum disease. If periodontal problems are common in your family, it’s especially important for your to watch for the early symptoms of gum disease: red, swollen gums and bleeding gums.
Early action can make your treatment more effective.
☐ Poor Oral Hygiene
Last but not least, you need to put in some effort to combat gum disease. Otherwise, you are just inviting bacteria to grow and thrive.
The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing every day.
The ADA also recommends regular professional dental cleanings for preventive care. To schedule a cleaning at our Kennewick, WA, dentist office. Call 509-591-0515 or contact us online.