Beyond Plaque – Other Significant Risk Factors for Gum Disease
Tooth loss is an unfortunate result of gum disease. The earliest stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. As it advances to involve supportive structures and bone, it becomes known as periodontitis. Gum disease is usually a direct result of months or years of poor oral hygiene. If it is not removed by brushing and flossing, plaque builds up on tooth surfaces and causes infection and inflammation. Although neglect is the most prevalent risk factor, it isn’t the only one. Several important but lesser-known risk factors for gum disease are listed below.
- Smoking and tobacco use is one of the most significant risk factors for gum disease.
- Drugs, including antidepressants, contraceptives, and heart medications, can negatively affect gum health and increase the risk of gum disease.
- Systemic diseases that cause inflammatory reactions may worsen gum health. These illnesses include cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes.
- Emotional and mental stress contribute to periodontal disease risk by making it more difficult for the body to fight infections, including gingivitis and periodontitis.
- Teeth grinding and clenching strain the supporting tissues that hold teeth in place and can speed up the progression of gum disease and destruction.
- Genetics may be a risk factor for gum disease for some people. Genetic testing and early professional intervention can help those with genetic tendencies for gum disease keep their teeth.
- Nutritional deficiencies caused by a poor diet affect the body’s immune system, and make it difficult to fight infections, including gingivitis and periodontitis.
- Obesity has also been linked to increased risk of periodontal disease.
- Studies show that more than 70 percent of people over the age of 65 have gum disease.
To learn about our family dentistry practice in West Chester, call Gentle Dental of West Chester today at (484) 643-4417 or make an appointment.
Gentle Dental offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in West Chester. With 14 affiliated practices in the Greater Philadelphia area, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Gentle Dental of West Chester, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Gentle Dental of West Chester.