Time is a factor when addressing periodontal diseases. Regular monitoring and early treatment are key in preventing the destructive elements of poor oral health. Knowing the risk factors associated with periodontal disease can go a long way towards prevention. Periodontal Disease risk factors include elements of genetics, lifestyle, and general health that can factor into the development of gum disease. If any of these elements resonate with the patient on a personal level, they should increase their diligence around good oral hygiene and regular check ups.

GENETICS

Certain people are genetically predisposed to gum disease. Even with adequate or aggressive oral care, these people are more susceptible to periodontal disease. There are genetic tests that reveal if a patient has genetic risk factors associated with the disease. Ensuring those who test positive for genetic risk are set up with early intervention treatment is paramount in maintaining their optimal oral health.

AGE

As we age, periodontal disease risk factors increase. Adults over 35 years lose more teeth to gum disease than to any other cause. 70% of Adults over 65 years have periodontitis. Since time is a factor, as we age it is important to increase our awareness and our efforts to maintain a clean and healthy mouth.

STRESS

The effects that stress have on the body are well documented. Just as stress can feed into the negative effects of cancer and hypertension, it also complicates the impact of periodontal diseases. It is harder to fight off infection and ailments when your body is stressed. A number of the body’s natural healing responses used into repairing damaged gums, for example, become ineffective when stressed.

CLENCHING OR GRINDING TEETH

The force that clenching and grinding puts on your teeth and surrounding tissues, can accelerate the advancement of periodontal diseases. In much the same way that mental stress can negatively impact the body’s healing response, so too can physical stress amplify periodontal diseases’ destructive elements.

POOR NUTRITION

Poor oral health can affect your general health, but poor general health can negatively impact oral health too. When the body does not receive the nutrients it needs, it loses the ability to fight off infection. Periodontal disease begins as an infection in the mouth, and without a healthy, nutrient-rich body to fight off the infection, the disease will continue to damage gums, teeth, and bones.

MEDICATION

Certain types of medication can negatively affect your oral health, such as heart medicine, antidepressants, and oral contraceptives. It is important to tell each of your medical professionals what medications you are on and if there have been any changes in your health. Only by having the full picture, can doctors monitor and alter a treatment plan to ensure it is working at maximum efficiency and minimum disruption to your overall health.

SMOKING/TOBACCO

The negative effects of tobacco use is common knowledge. It has been linked to cancer, lung disease, heart disease, and a number of other health problems, including gum disease. Smoking and tobacco use are major risk factors involved in the development and progression of periodontal disease, tooth loss and poor healing.

SYSTEMIC DISEASES

Systemic diseases within the body, like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis, affect the body’s inflammatory system. These diseases can also affect the condition of the gums, leading to inflammation or worsening inflammation, and complicating the sensitive balance within the periodontal environment. Overall monitoring these periodontal disease risk factors will help prevent future oral health issues.

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