Gum Disease Risk Factors

Painful Gums

Gum disease is an all-too-common condition. A recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that almost half of Americans age 30 and over have the most severe form of gum disease, called periodontitis. Many cases of gum disease can be prevented. And in the early stage, gum disease can be cured. Once it’s left to progress, though, the damaging effects of gum disease take a toll on the mouth and the body.

Dr. Jeffrey Smith wants to educate St. Charles MO residents about the risk factors of gum disease to help preserve oral health and lessen the damage of this destructive condition.

Gum Disease Overview

Gum disease — also called periodontal disease — is a chronic, inflammatory condition that attacks the gum tissue. Initially, gums may appear red and puffy, and they may bleed easily. As the condition advances, the bonds that hold teeth and gum tissue together start to deteriorate. Teeth can loosen and even come out. Bone and gum tissue can be destroyed, as well.

The detrimental impact of gum disease doesn’t just affect the mouth. The bacteria that cause gum disease can cause problems with internal bodily systems. Gum disease has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes complications, dementia, osteoporosis, low birth weight, pre-term birth, and more

Gum Disease Risk Factors

Factors that increase the risk of gum disease include:

  • Not properly cleaning your teeth. Plaque buildup produces acids that irritate and inflame gum tissue, setting the stage for gum disease.
  • Using tobacco. This is a big one, Next to plaque, tobacco use may be one of the biggest factors increasing the risk of getting gum disease.
  • Taking certain medications. Some heart medications, oral contraceptives, and anti-depressants — among others — can negatively impact oral health.
  • Experiencing stress. Physical and/or emotional stress can lower the body’s disease-fighting ability and make it harder to ward off gum disease.
  • Not eating properly. A diet low in beneficial nutrients can put your whole body, including your smile, at risk.

We Can Help

Schedule a consultation with Dr. Smith today. He’ll talk to you about the factors in your life that may contribute to gum disease and help you reduce your risk.