Gum disease or periodontitis is a lifelong condition that requires routine monitoring and treatment to manage. It is often preceded by gingivitis, the more manageable and less aggressive form of gum irritation. Understanding the causes of these conditions can be helpful in understanding risk and forming prevention strategies. Here are a few common reasons individuals develop gum disease.
Common Culprits Behind Gum Disease
Some individuals are predisposed to gum disease due to shared genetic risk factors. If there have been individuals in your family who have experienced periodontitis, be sure to bring it up with your dentist. They may suggest a defensive plan encompassing certain tactics or treatments to reduce risk.
2. Hormonal Changes
Certain hormonal shifts, such as those experienced during pregnancy, can make the gums inflamed and irritated, and thus more susceptible to infection. To address gingivitis and keep more advanced stages of gum conditions at bay, be extra diligent about your oral care during pregnancy.
3. Certain Medications
Many types of prescription medications list dry mouth as a side effect. Without ample saliva, the mouth becomes an inviting environment for harmful bacteria to thrive. Some medicines may also contribute to the overgrowth of gum tissue. For this reason, it’s important to discuss all medications you’re currently taking with your dentist.
Among all potential risk factors for gum disease, smoking is one of the most significant. Not only can it increase your odds of developing the condition in the first place, but it may also impede the effectiveness of a treatment. Smoking is detrimental to oral health in general, so if you haven’t already, develop a plan to quit.
5. Poor Oral Hygiene
While some of the aforementioned factors can’t be controlled, oral hygiene certainly can. Even if you face a higher risk of developing gum disease, robust oral hygiene practices can help you keep the condition at bay. In addition to brushing and flossing daily, regular dentists appointments are essential for keeping the gums healthy and watching for early signs of gingivitis.
If you’re concerned about your risk for gingivitis and gum disease, talk to the caring team from High Point Smile Dentistry in Guilford County, NC. This group of professionals offers individualized dental care services to help patients maintain a lifetime of strong, healthy teeth and gums. Like their Facebook page for more updates; or, call (336) 884-4000 to schedule an appointment.