Five Risk Factors of Gum Disease

Gingivitis, the most common type of gum disease, occurs when bacteria gets below the gum line and breeds in the space between your teeth and gums. Brushing and flossing are the first and most basic steps to a healthy mouth, but some of us are more susceptible to gum disease than others. If you have any of these risk factors, consult your dentist in Clarksville TN for extra help in keeping your gums healthy.shutterstock_211849876

  • Smoking is a serious risk factor because tobacco products hinder your gums from properly attaching to your teeth. This leaves gaps that the bacteria can breed in. The best way to avoid this is to quit smoking and the use of any tobacco products.
  • Diabetes threatens your gums by reducing your ability to fight infections. This means if the harmful bacteria gets under your gum line, your body will have a difficult time killing it off. Prevention is the best medicine in this case.
  • Medications may have side effects that are harmful to your gum health. If dry mouth is a side effect of any medication you are taking, remember that saliva actually helps to protect your gums by killing off bacteria. Consult with your dentist about mouth sprays that will counter the effects of dry mouth.
  • Genetics may be a risk factor as well, although we have not discovered a specific “gingivitis gene.” If one or both of your parents has faced a significant battle with periodontal disease, brushing and flossing alone might not be enough for you. Discuss your family history with your dentist to determine what you should be watching out for.
  • Illnesses that reduce your immune system, like AIDS, can affect your gum health because they reduce your body’s ability to fight off infections. If you have an immunodeficiency or are taking any drugs or therapies, like radiation or chemotherapy, your risk for gum disease could be elevated.

The good news is that gum disease is generally preventable by practicing good oral hygiene. If you have any of the above risk factors, the dental team at Carter Periodontics & Implant Dentistry are here to help. Call today or fill out our request form to schedule an evaluation appointment.