Most people know to fear tooth decay, but don’t know much at all about gum disease. This condition occurs when harmful bacteria infiltrate the gums, causing damage and sometimes dangerous infections. The gums can start to recede or pull away from the teeth, which can end in loose or even lost teeth! Knowing your individual risk factors can help you prevent gum disease whenever possible.
- Age: The older you are, the more likely you are to experience gum disease. An estimated 70.1 percent of Americans older than age 65 have periodontitis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Family History: If your parents have experienced gum disease, you are at an increased risk for having it too. Always let your dentist know if you have a family history of gum disease or early tooth loss.
- Your Medical History: If you have a history of chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease or rheumatoid arthritis, you are at greater risk for gum disease. These conditions are associated with inflammation in the body, which can lead to gum disease.
- Grinding or Clenching Your Teeth: Each create added friction on your teeth, which can weaken its supporting structures. As a result, you advance the rate at which your gum tissue deteriorates.
- Poor Nutrition: Your body uses the nutrients you give it to build healthy tissue, fight off infections and heal. If you do not fuel your body with the proper nutrients, it cannot fight back.
While the idea of your gum tissue falling away can be worrisome and disturbing, there’s no need to fret. Even if you do qualify for some of the risk factors above, good oral hygiene and regular, six month appointments with your trusted dentist go a long way to ensuring good gum health.
If you do notice any symptoms of gum disease, which include gum bleeding and tender, swollen gums, contact your Lynchburg dentist immediately and make an appointment as soon as possible. The faster we can help clear the infection, the less lasting damage it will have the potential to do! (434) 385-7718