Top 9 Gum Disease Risk Factors You Should Be Aware Of

Gum disease is a severe infection of the gums that can cause damage to your oral tissues and teeth. It can make your teeth loose, putting you in danger of losing them completely. Though gum disease is widespread, it’s highly reversible if diagnosed early. Dental plaque buildup is the most prevalent cause of an infected gum line, but there are other things that can affect the health of your gums.

common causes of gum disease

Continue reading to learn about the eight most common factors that can harm your oral health.

1. Aging

According to the latest study, gum disease is most common among the elderly. This condition affects over 70% of Americans over the age of 65. That’s because when you become older, your gums recede, revealing the tooth’s base and underlying roots. Bacteria can then build up in these sensitive places, causing irritation and decay.

2. Tobacco use and smoking

Tobacco products are linked to a variety of illnesses, including heart disease, cancer, and COPD. However, most are unaware that smoking and using products like vape, e-cigarettes, and snus are also common causes of gum disease. Tobacco usage promotes plaque accumulation and reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood, making it easier for infection to progress.

3. Genetics

According to experts, some people have a genetic predisposition to gum infections. These individuals are more susceptible to gum disease, regardless of their oral care or personal habits. To preserve the health of your gums and teeth, determine your predisposition with a genetic test before you start showing any signs of disease and practice thorough dental hygiene.

4. Stressful lifestyle

Constant stress might increase your risk of health problems like hypertension, cancer, obesity, diabetes, and gastrointestinal issues. An increased incidence of gum disease is also related to anxiety and stress. Several studies show that stress and mental unrest make it more difficult for your immune system to fight infections, including advanced periodontal disease.

5. Medications

Birth control pills, antidepressants, and some heart disease drugs can all have a harmful impact on your oral health. You should tell your dentist about all of the medications you’re taking and any health concerns you’re having, just like you should tell your pharmacist and other health care providers.

6. Teeth grinding 

When you clench or gnash your teeth, you exert a lot of pressure on the tissues that support them. This can cause your teeth to loosen and your gum pockets to expand. Infectious bacteria will then proliferate in your mouth, causing gum disease and jawbone deterioration.

7. Other systemic conditions

Certain systemic conditions might weaken your immune system, making your gum line more susceptible to infections. Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic kidney disease, lung disease, cognitive impairment, and cancer are only a few of these conditions.

8. Malnutrition and obesity

When your body lacks necessary nutrients, your immune system may be unable to combat bacteria adequately. Malnutrition can aggravate the state of your gums since gum disease is caused by bacteria in dental plaque. Furthermore, research shows that being overweight increases your chance of gum infection.

9. Alcohol

According to a study published in the Journal of Periodontology, alcohol can lead to periodontitis, the last stage of gum disease. Drinking can increase periodontitis risk factors and worsen your symptoms significantly.

The bottom line 

Consider quitting smoking, lowering your stress levels, and altering your medications if they’re too harsh on your gums and you want to keep your gum line and teeth healthy. Besides, make routine dental cleanings and checkups a priority. If you have a systemic condition, speak with your doctor about the most effective strategies to manage your symptoms.

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Article Author Details

Amelia Grant

I am Amelia Grant, journalist, and blogger. I think that information is a great force that is able to change people’s lives for the better. That is why I feel a strong intention to share useful and important things about health self-care, wellness and other advice that may be helpful for people.