Gum disease NYC risk factors: what you need to know for healthy gums


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The chance of developing gum or periodontal disease increases considerably as you get older.

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Gum disease NYC risk factors: what you need to know for healthy gums

  1. 1. Gum diseaseNYC risk factors: what you need to know for healthy gums How old areyou? Thechanceof developing gum or periodontal diseaseincreasesconsiderably asyou get older. Studiesindicatethat older peoplehavethehighest ratesof periodontal diseaseand need to do moreto maintain good oral health. However, asyou read ahead, if you area young patient (under 40 yearsold) and haveany of therisk factors, you may havemore seriousdental problemsthat will worsen with timeand requireprofessional treatment in a timely way. Areyou femaleor male? Studiessuggest therearegenetic differencesbetween men and women that affect therisk of developing gum disease. Whilewomen tend to takebetter careof their oral health than men do, women'soral health isnot markedly better than men's. Thisisbecausehormonal fluctuationsthroughout awoman'slifecan affect many tissues, including gum tissue. Doyour gumsever bleed? Bleeding gumscan beoneof thesignsof gum disease. Think of gum tissueasthe skin on your hand. If your handsbled every timeyou washed them, you would know something waswrong. However if you areasmoker, your gumsmay not bleed, and therefore, “hide” theseverity of your condition. Areyour teeth loose? Periodontal (gum) diseaseisaseriousinflammatory diseasethat iscaused by abacterial infection, and leadsto destruction of theattachment fibersand supporting bonethat hold your teeth in your mouth. When neglected, teeth can becomelooseand fall out. Loose teeth, even though nothing hurts, areasign of periodontal or gum disease. Haveyour gumsreceded, or doyour teeth look longer? Oneof thewarning signsof gum diseaseincludesgumsthat arereceding or pulling away from theteeth, causing theteeth to look longer than before. Doyou smokeor usetobaccoproducts? Studieshaveshown that tobacco usemay beoneof themost significant risk factorsin the development and progression of periodontal disease. Smokersaremuch morelikely than non-smokersto havecalculusform on their teeth, havedeeper pocketsbetween theteeth and gums, and losemoreof theboneand tissuethat support theteeth. And yet, smokers
  2. 2. may haveno signsor symptomsof gum diseasebecausethesmokemaskstheunderlying problems. Haveyou seen a dentist in thelast twoyears? Daily brushing and flossing will help removebacterial plaqueand even keep calculus formation to aminimum, but it won't prevent gum diseaseor calculusfrom forming. A professional dental cleaning at least twiceayear isnecessary to removecalculusfrom placesyour toothbrush and flossmay havemissed. If you areproneto gum disease, more frequent professional cleaningswill help maintain your periodontal condition. How often doyou floss? Studiesdemonstratethat including flossing aspart of your oral careroutinecan actually help reducetheamount of gum disease-causing bacteriafound in themouth, therefore contributing to healthy teeth and gums. Brushing, alone, will not keep your mouth and gumshealthy. Doyou currently haveany of thefollowinghealth conditions? i.e. Heart disease, osteoporosis, osteopenia, high stress, or diabetes Ongoing research suggeststhat periodontal diseasemay belinked to theseconditions. Thebacteriaassociated with periodontal diseasecan travel into theblood stream and pose athreat to other partsof thebody. Healthy gumsmay lead to ahealthier body. High stress levelsreleasehormonesinto thebloodstream that act as“food” for thebacteriathat cause gum disease. When you areunder stress, you are“feeding” theproblem. Haveyou ever been told that you havegum problems, gum infection or gum inflammation? Over thepast decade, research hasfocused on therolechronic inflammation may play in variousdiseases, including periodontal or gum, disease. Datasuggeststhat having a history of periodontal diseasemakesyou six-timesmorelikely to havefutureperiodontal problems. Periodontal diseaseisoften silent, meaning symptomsmay not appear until an advanced stageof thedisease. Haveyou had any adult teeth extracted duetogum disease? Most gum problemsaregeneralized among anumber or teeth, and arenot isolated to a singletooth. For thisreason, if you havelost atooth to gum disease, thelikelihood exists that you haveagum condition that needsto betreated, even if nothing hurtsor you are unawareof any symptoms. Haveany of your family membershad gum disease? Research suggeststhat thebacteriathat causeperiodontal diseasecan passthrough saliva,
  3. 3. and remain on your toothbrush. For thisreason, it isunwiseto sharetoothbrushes. Individualswith advanced gum problemsshould beawarethat they can transmit thisto another family member through their saliva. Also, research provesthat up to 30% of the population may begenetically susceptibleto gum disease. Despiteaggressiveoral care habits, thesepeoplemay besix timesmorelikely to develop periodontal disease. Gum disease, also known asperiodontal disease, isasilent disease. It ischronic, much in theway diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid arthritisand other diseasesare, and assuch, must be treated, contained, and monitored by adental professional. Except in extremeinstances, early intervention will help an individual savetheir teeth in comfort and good function when suffering gum diseasein NYC.