Taking care of your gums is an important part of maintaining a healthy smile.
If you want to enjoy a healthy and beautiful smile in the long term, you must take good care of your gums and teeth. To do so, you should know what factors could be putting you at risk of gum disease. Read on to learn about some of the most common risk factors for gum disease. Also, learn what to do to keep your smile in good shape, especially as you get older…
What is gum disease?
The earliest stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis. If left untreated, gingivitis can advance into a much more severe condition known as periodontitis. Periodontitis is associated with infection and inflammation of the gums. It can spread to the underlying bones that support the teeth. The issue can cause a range of oral health issues. It includes the deterioration of gum tissue, bone, teeth, and even tooth loss.
What are the risk factors for gum disease?
The good news is that if identified and addressed early, the effects of gingivitis are often reversible. Periodontitis, on the other hand, is much more severe and may require surgical treatment.
One of the factors that increase the risk of periodontitis quite considerably is poor oral hygiene. Without regular brushing and flossing, plaque can build up on and below the gum line. It then leads to irritation of the gums, infection, and inflammation. As more and more bacteria grow and spread, gum disease will advance and cause damage to the gums and underlying bone.
There are also a few lifestyle factors that can increase one’s risk of periodontitis. These include smoking and other forms of tobacco use, poor nutrition, and high-stress levels, which make it difficult to fight off infections.
Certain health conditions have been linked to an increased risk of gum disease. These include diabetes, HIV/AIDS, cardiovascular disease, and other diseases that affect one’s immune system.
Some people are more genetically prone to gum disease than others, while advanced age tends to increase the risk of developing the condition.
How can you address the issue?
If you are concerned about the condition of your gums, you should consult your dentist as soon as possible. Your dentist will examine your teeth, gums, and mouth and assess your overall oral health before providing you with a diagnosis and recommending a treatment plan best suited to your needs.
Even if you haven’t noticed any possible signs of gum disease, it is a good idea to see your dentist for regular check-ups and cleans. Ideally, you should make these routine appointments every six months.
To keep issues like gum disease at bay, you should commit to healthy oral hygiene habits. It includes brushing and flossing daily and eating a balanced diet low in sugar and refined carbohydrates. If you suffer from a health condition that puts you at greater risk of gum disease, let your dentist know so that they can factor this into your care plan. They may recommend you come for check-ups more often to keep your oral health on track.
How can we help?
At Ironside Advanced Dental, we care about our patients’ overall health and encourage you to come in and see us for regular check-ups. Professor Jim Ironside offers microscope dentistry, which allows him to pick up on bacterial infections under the gum tissue which may not be visible to the naked eye. By using microscope dentistry, he can provide early diagnosis, as well as enhanced treatment.