According to recent studies, approximately 80 percent of American adults have some form of gum disease. In part one of this series, we looked at the basics of periodontal disease, including gingivitis and periodontitis. In part two, we’ll take a look at risk factors associated with periodontal disease as well as tips to reduce your risk.

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Risk Factors of Periodontal Disease

  • Smoking – Looking for another reason to quit smoking? Smoking is one of the most significant risk factors associated with the development of periodontitis.
  • Hormonal Changes in Women – Hormonal changes in young women and adults can make their gums more sensitive, making it easier for gingivitis to occur.
  • Diabetes – If you suffer from diabetes, you’ll have a higher risk for developing infections like periodontal disease.
  • Misaligned or Crowded Teeth – If your teeth are misaligned or crowded, you run a greater risk of periodontal disease. Anything that makes it more difficult to brush or floss your teeth is likely to enhance the growth of plaque and tartar.
  • Grinding or Clenching of Teeth – If you grind or clench your teeth at night or during the day, you can speed up the breakdown of periodontal ligament and bone.

Who Gets Periodontal Disease?

Many people don’t show signs of periodontal disease until they are in their 30s or 40s. While teenagers rarely develop periodontitis, they can develop gingivitis at a very young age.

Tips to Prevent Gum Disease

As you may have guessed, a solid oral care regimen can help to reduce your risk of gingivitis and periodontal disease. After all, serious problems can take place beneath your gum line where you can’t see them. A growing number of scientists believe that plaque and gum disease can also influence conditions such as heart disease and stroke. If you’re looking for ways to protect your mouth from these issues, consider incorporating the tips below into your daily oral care routine.

Eat More Chicken
If you’re a meat-eater, you’ll be happy to know that incorporating more chicken into your diet can help your teeth and gums. Chicken, along with cheese and milk, is believed to provide your teeth with the calcium and phosphorous needed to remineralize enamel that has been damaged from acids.

Use an Antimicrobial Mouthwash
While you may already use a mouthwash before you go to bed at night, it’s important to make sure that it is antimicrobial. Many dentists recommend using a mouthwash that is low in alcohol or without it altogether. This is because alcohol tends to try out your mouth which can contribute to unwanted tooth decay. The more saliva that is in your mouth, the better your oral health will be.

Chew Gum
Did you know that chewing on sugar-free gum can help keep your teeth and gums clean? If you start purchasing gum that contains Xylitol, a natural sweetener derived from plants, it can actually do your teeth some good. Xylitol doesn’t break down like sugar does, and it can keep a neutral pH level in your mouth.

If you’re afraid you or a loved one may be suffering from gingivitis or periodontal disease, contact the experienced dental team at Gentle Care Dentists today. We offer a plethora of dental services to help you achieve the smile you’ve always dreamed of. Whether you need periodontal treatments or a professional teeth cleaning, we can help remedy any tooth pain or cosmetic issues you have. Check out our testimonials online or meet our doctors today!