Are you at risk for the development of gum disease? One study in America estimated that almost one in two adults had some stage of gum disease, whether mild, moderate or severe. In addition to poor general dental hygiene, what are some of the bigger risk factors associated with gum disease? What can you do to try and avoid its onset?
Do It Every Day
The dentist will tell you that the primary cause of gum disease and the development of periodontitis is plaque that's simply allowed to build up without being removed. Regular and comprehensive daily cleaning, together with the use of floss or a toothpick, can make a significant difference, as can visits to your dental hygienist periodically.
If you've been trying to quit smoking, you now have another reason, as tobacco use can cause an elevated risk for the development of periodontitis. Of course, smoking can also put you at greater risk of developing heart disease, lung disease and cancer, as well, so this is really a "no-brainer."
Thanks, Mum and Dad!
Many people will be unfortunate enough to develop gum disease purely due to their genetic code. You may be able to request a genetic test through your dentist or family doctor in order to determine what type of risk factors you have. If it is shown that you are at very high risk of developing the disease, then the dentist can work with this information to create a specific oral care routine in your case.
Virtually everything that you put into your mouth has an effect on your oral health. The digestive system is inextricably linked to the health of your mouth. You should be aware that certain medications you may have been described can contribute to the development of some dental issues. Make sure that you notify the dentist about any prescribed, or "over-the-counter" medications you're on.
Under Pressure, Literally
Has somebody told you that you tend to grind your teeth at night? Bruxism is fairly common, and the exact cause is not well understood. However, when you clench your teeth excessively, you put a lot of force on the supporting structure. This could lead to degeneration of the soft tissues and the potential development of periodontitis.
Some people do think that tooth grinding is linked to general stress in your life. If you have high levels of stress as a result of your job or other issues, then you should try to introduce calming measures like meditation to try and reduce its impact. Stress will make it difficult for your body to ward off infection, and this can include diseases in the mouth.
What You Can Do
If you're particularly worried about gum disease and its development, take the time to have a chat with your dentist, so you can come up with a plan of attack.