About half of American adults will suffer from gum disease, an infection of the gum tissue. Though prevalent, this disease can eat away at the gums, teeth, and jawbone. This can leave lasting damage that may result in tooth loss.
You will need treatment from a dentist to get rid of this infection. So dentists promote preventative dental care when it comes to gum health.
You can better avoid gum disease if you know what issues can heighten the likelihood of getting it. Read on to learn about three potential risk factors that could leave you with a higher chance of contracting gum disease.
What Heightens My Risk of Gum Disease?
Aggressive Oral Bacteria
You can prevent the natural bacteria in your mouth from spreading to infect your gums by practicing good oral hygiene. But some people have particularly aggressive oral bacteria that cannot be kept at bay with these usual at-home methods.
The cause of this is unclear, but this type of bacteria can lead to the destruction of bone and tissue along with other unpleasant symptoms of gum disease. Your dentist can evaluate your oral health during a check-up to determine the care that you will need to protect your gums.
They may suggest an antibacterial mouthwash that will balance oral bacteria. This rinse can then decrease your chances of contracting infections like gum disease. It may even alleviate uncomfortable periodontal symptoms from this infection.
Underlying Health Conditions
Genetics, age, certain medicines, and other factors can impact your gum health. For instance, adults over the age of 65 can see a 70% increase in their risk of gum disease according to the American Academy of Periodontology.
You can see an effect on your gum health if you have underlying medical conditions too. Heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes can create inflammation throughout the body, which can worsen inflamed gums from gum disease.
Changes within the body, such as pregnancy or hormone fluctuations, can make your gums more prone to infection too. Talk to your dentist about your medical history to learn how this plays a role in your overall oral health and dental care.
Poor Oral Habits
Your habits and lifestyle will also impact your oral health, including your gums and your risk of oral infection. Smoking, for instance, can introduce many health issues to the body. Specifically, tobacco use will slow tissue healing in the mouth, which can put the gums in danger of infection.
Your diet can also affect your gum health. So make sure you eat nutritious foods with plenty of vitamin C that will boost your immune system and your body’s ability to fight infections like gum disease.
Even if you adhere to proper oral hygiene, your gums could remain at risk of infection if you do not use the right brushing and flossing methods. Do not rush your oral hygiene regimen. Clean your teeth and gums thoroughly and with purpose at home and seek routine cleanings from your dentist too.