Causes and Risk Factors for Gum Disease

la-dentist-riskfactorsforgumdiseaseIf you’ve visited our Los Angeles dentist and learned you’ve got gum disease, you’re not alone: As many as three-quarters of American adults have some form of gum disease. Although you know gum disease is a highly treatable condition when caught early, you may be left scratching your head as to why you have it at all.

Preventable risk factors for gum disease

Tobacco use is one of the biggest preventable risk factors for gum disease. Smokers are estimated to be more than 10 times as likely as nonsmokers to have the bacteria linked to gum disease. Smoking marijuana has also been linked to gum disease.

An unhealthy oral environment is another preventable risk factor for gum disease. Excessive amounts of sugar or acid in the diet, poorly made restorations, and poor oral hygiene encourage the buildup of bacteria and plaque formation. It is important to eat a healthy diet, brush after every meal, and floss daily to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Other causes of gum disease

The increased levels of hormones associated with menstruation, pregnancy, oral contraceptives, and menopause can all cause gum disease. A family history of gum disease also increases one’s own risk of developing gum disease.

Certain diseases, such as diabetes or HIV, as well as certain medications, including some calcium-channel blockers and anti-seizure medicines, can increase your risk of gum disease.

Gum disease is not only unhealthy for your mouth, it has also been linked to health problems such as heart disease and stroke. It is important to visit our Los Angeles dentist every 6 months for a regular checkup and to discuss treatment options and suggestions.

Source: Los Angeles Dentist

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