Gum disease NYC risk factors: what you need to know for healthy gums
Gum diseaseNYC risk factors: what you need to know for healthy
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
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
may haveno signsor symptomsof gum diseasebecausethesmokemaskstheunderlying
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
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
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,
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.