Did you know that 75% of people over the age of 35 suffer from some form of gum disease? This illness can put you at greater risk for a number of illnesses, including stroke, respiratory illness, complications with pregnancy and more. Luckily, gum disease can be easily prevented with a solid dental hygiene routine and regular visits to the dentist. Taking preventative measures is particularly important if you are at greater risk for gum disease. To know if you are at risk, simply answer the following questions!
1. Are you a smoker?
Studies have shown that smoking is one of the clearest indicators for risk of gum disease. Smoking lowers your immune system and allows harmful bacteria to wreak havoc on the gums. This leads to an infection known as gingivitis—the first stage of gum disease. Unfortunately, smoking also makes it more difficult to treat periodontal issues as well.
2. Are you over the age of 65?
If you are a part of this age group, it is very important that you visit the dentist every six months to prevent gum disease. This is because, according to the CDC, 70% of people in this age group suffer from some form of periodontal disease.
3. Does your family have a history of gum disease?
Unfortunately, some people are just more prone to gum disease than others. Family history can be a pretty good indicator of your risk for gum disease. If you know someone in your family who has suffered from the illness, be careful to maintain a solid oral healthcare routine and visit your dentist regularly.
4. Do you suffer from chronic stress?
Cortisol, a hormone released during periods of stress, can lower your immune system and make you more prone to infection—including infections of the gums. Therefore, if you are frequently stressed, you may be allowing harmful bacteria to wreak havoc on your gums.
5. Are you a teeth grinder?
Bruxism (or teeth grinding) can lead to a number of oral health issues. In addition to damaging your dental enamel, bruxism can cause your teeth to loosen and pockets to form in the gums. This allows for harmful bacteria to get stuck and damage your gums, leading to gum disease.
6. Do you maintain a healthy diet?
Eating a nutritious meal helps to protect your immune system and keeps your body in good health. This is particularly important for the health of your gums, which can otherwise be susceptible to infection. Be sure to eat a well-balanced diet to help prevent periodontal issues down the road.
7. Do you suffer from chronic illness?
Certain illnesses such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and rheumatoid arthritis can impact your body’s ability to ward off infection. Therefore, if you suffer from any of these illnesses, it is important that you are diligent about maintaining the health of your gums.
Did you answer yes to any of the above questions? If so, taking extra precautions to care for your gums is of the upmost importance. Therefore, to prevent gum disease, be sure that you visit your dentist every six months. To schedule your appointment, call Manus Dental today!