Get To Know Your Gum Disease Risk Factors
Flip a coin.
If you are over 30, those are roughly the same odds that you have some form of the gum disease known as periodontitis. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 47.2 percent of Americans 30 and older have periodontitis.
For a variety of reasons, many people are unaware that they have gum disease. The condition often is not painful in the early stages. The dilemma is that if you aren’t actively trying to prevent gum disease, you may be allowing it to spread a little more every day.
We have seen and treated many patients with gum disease at our dentist office in Rochester Hills, MI. We know how common it can be.
Our team at Hubbard & Leath Dental wants you to know the signs, and we want you to be aware of factors that may increase your risk of developing gum disease. (This is Gum Disease Awareness Month, after all.)
Gum Disease Symptoms
Before we explain risk factors for gum disease, we want you to know the symptoms of this condition.
The symptoms we are describing are things you can see on your own. It might be time to call Hubbard & Leath Dental if you notice one or more of them:
▪︎ Gums that are red, swollen, or both
▪︎ Gums that bleed when you floss or brush your teeth
▪︎ Gums that bleed at other times
▪︎ Gums that feel tender or sore
▪︎ Gums that are receding or separating from your teeth
▪︎ Gums that leak pus
▪︎ Bad breath or bad taste in your mouth
▪︎ Teeth that feel loose in their sockets
You won’t be able to see this, but you may have pockets forming in your gum tissue as well. These pockets can serve as gathering places for bacteria where it’s harder to remove them.
If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, make an appointment at our dentist office in Rochester Hills soon. Call us at 248.266.2528.
Gum Disease Risk Factors
Gum disease is already more common than most dentists would like. With that in mind, many factors can increase your risk of periodontal problems.
Being aware of your risk factors can help you stay vigilant in the never-ending fight against gum disease.
➤ Being female
We will be the first to admit that that isn’t fair. Even so, the CDC numbers show that 56.4 percent of women, compared to 38.4 percent of men have gum disease.
Hormone changes are part of the reason for this. Women’s risk of gum disease increases during times when their bodies are experiencing hormonal changes such as puberty, pregnancy, and menopause.
➤ Having diabetes
The American Dental Hygienists Association reports that 95 percent of people with diabetes also have some form of gum disease. This includes nearly one-third who have severe periodontitis.
One possible explanation for this is that people with diabetes are more susceptible to dry mouth. That also makes it more likely that someone may develop gum disease.
➤ Using tobacco
Some would argue that tobacco use may be the biggest risk factor related to gum disease. One study published in the Journal of Periodontology found that smokers were three times as likely as nonsmokers to have severe periodontitis. Even former smokers had double the risk of nonsmokers.
In case you are wondering, smokeless tobacco use also increases you risk of gum disease, too. Our advice is to quit using tobacco or, better yet, never start using it.
➤ Family history
As with many diseases, your genetics can affect your likelihood of developing an illness. If gum disease is common in your family, you may want to pay more attention to the health of your gums.
➤ Poor oral hygiene
This may go without saying, but if you don’t take care of your mouth, you are inviting gum disease and other problems.
Remember to brush twice a day. Remember to floss daily. And remember to visit Hubbard & Leath Dental for routine dental cleanings and exams. Doing all of those things will help you prevent gum disease.
If you have not yet scheduled your next appointment, today would be a good day to do that. Just fill out our online contact form or call 248.266.2528 to plan your visit to our dentist office in Rochester Hills, MI.