Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is an infection of the gums. It is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. There are several risk factors that can increase the risk of developing gum disease. These include:
Smokers are at a much greater risk of developing periodontitis than non-smokers. In fact, smoking is the primary risk factor for developing periodontal disease. Tobacco use of any kind causes significant inflammation of the gum tissues, as well as the narrowing of the blood vessels that supply the gums with nutrients. This limits the body’s ability to fight infections like periodontitis in an efficient manner. Quitting smoking altogether will reduce your risk of gum disease significantly.
Genetic factors can play a role in a person’s likelihood of developing periodontitis. Recent studies suggest that some types of bacteria may be passed from parents to children, which can increase their risk for severe gum disease later in life. Others find that genetics may control whether certain patients experience more aggressive forms of periodontal disease than others.
A family history of gum disease can make a patient more likely to develop the condition as well. Even though researchers are still exploring the role that genetics play in periodontal disease, it’s clear that identifying risk factors can help prevent the development of this serious condition.
Certain medications, such as steroids and other immunosuppressants, can be linked to an increased risk of periodontitis. People who take these medications should work closely with their dentist to maintain a high standard of oral health.
These medications can come with a wide range of side effects, including an increase in the number of harmful bacteria in the mouth, dry mouth, and swollen gums. All of these factors contribute to an increased risk for gum disease, so it’s essential to speak with your dentist if you’re taking any of these medications.
Diabetes is a serious condition that affects millions of people across the country, making it one of the most common risk factors for periodontitis. If you are diabetic, it is important to visit your Riverside dentist every six months for cleanings and checkups to prevent gum disease.
Diabetes affects the body’s ability to fight inflammation by slowing down white blood cells in the bloodstream. When these blood cells do not function correctly, they are unable to fight off infections. The gum tissue can become inflamed more easily in diabetics, leading to a greater risk of gum disease. This risk is even greater when blood sugar levels are not under control.
People under stress are more likely to develop periodontal disease. This is because the hormones that are released when your body is under stress can increase your risk for inflammation. You may notice that you have an increased susceptibility to infection when you are stressed, and it is also likely that the recovery time after a bacterial infection will be longer during periods of stress. If you are someone who has been under a lot of physical or emotional stress for a long period of time, you may want to consider scheduling an appointment with your dentist to discuss your risk of periodontitis.
For the best dental care tailored to your needs, visit Riverside Tooth Co at 6886 Indiana Ave Suite B, Riverside 92506, or call (951) 686-2565.
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