Gum disease is one of the most widespread oral health issues affecting Americans. The American Dental Hygienists Association has reported that 80 percent — or 4 in 5 people — will have gum disease during their lives.
The Centers for Disease Control reported that 47.2 percent of adults 30 and older have some form of periodontitis. Among adults 65 and older, 70 percent have some form of periodontitis, according to the CDC.
Everyone at our dentist office in Lancaster, CA, wants you to avoid gum disease as much as possible.
February is Gum Disease Awareness Month. As you can tell from the statistics, gum disease is pretty common already. Yet, many people are at a greater risk of developing periodontal problems than others.
We will be discussing those risk factors in today’s post.
A Quick Guide To Gum Disease Symptoms
It may go without saying, but gum disease will get progressively worse if it is left untreated.
The early stage is called gingivitis. This can turn into periodontitis, which can lead to advanced periodontitis. Whenever, we would rather help our patients in and around Lancaster, CA, prevent periodontal disease.
Routine cleanings and exams will help do just that or increase the odds that we find your gum infection early.
At the same time, we encourage to seek help if you notice these symptoms:
▸ Swollen gums
▸ Red gums
▸ Bleeding gums
▸ Constant bad breath
▸ Sore or painful gums
▸ Loose teeth or changes to your bite
Pain generally doesn’t occur until the latter stages of gum disease. This is why it’s important to look for other signs.
By being vigilant about your oral health, you can avoid getting to the more serious consequences of gum disease.
Gum Disease Risk Factors
Your risk for gum disease depends on a lot of things. You can’t change the fact that the bacteria that cause gum disease are already in your mouth. But you can control what you do about it.
Keep that in mind as your read through these risk factors that have been identified by the American Academy of Periodontology:
◼︎ Tobacco use
Smoking or using smokeless tobacco is one of the worst things you can do for your oral health. Tobacco weakens your immune system’s ability to fight off gum infections, makes gum disease harder to treat, and increases that odds that your infection will return.
Diabetes and other systemic diseases also can make you more likely to develop oral health problems. Keeping your blood sugar under control can help keep you prevent gum infections, too.
Unfortunately, some medications cause side effects, such as dry mouth, that can increase your risk of periodontal disease. Let our dentist know if you are taking any medications when you visit us for your regular cleanings.
◼︎ Getting older
This is one thing you can’t control. As we get older, our bodies change, and some of those changes make us more likely to develop oral health issues. This makes good oral hygiene even more important with each passing year.
◼︎ Poor oral hygiene
Speaking of this, you need to brush your teeth twice daily (for two minutes at a time) and floss every day. Doing these things will help to remove many bacteria from your mouth each day. You will never get rid of all of them, but this is part of how you keep them under control.
◼︎ Family history
Your genes can affect your height and your eye color. They also can leave you more prone to periodontal problems than other people. If gum disease runs in your family, you may want to pay particular attention to having good oral health habits.
◼︎ Hormone changes
Overall, men are more likely to develop gum disease than women. However, women face an increased risk for gum disease when they are going through hormone changes. This includes puberty, pregnancy, and menopause.
If you have been under a lot of stress at work, at home, or both, this can take a toll on your health. That can leave you more likely to develop gum disease, too.
Getting Gum Disease Treatment
Dr. Boyle and our team are here to provide gum disease treatments for any patient at our Lancaster, CA, dentist office.
If you notice the symptoms mentioned above, call 661-524-8457 or contact us online.