When you think of periodontal disease, you may believe that it doesn’t affect you. And you may be right. However, the startling fact is that over 50% of Americans have some form of periodontal disease in some form or another. And while you may think that it’s not that big of a deal if you have no pain in your mouth, you’re okay, this too is a misnomer. The truth is, if you have any periodontal disease or gum disease, you are placing your body’s health at risk.
The reasons are these. Everything that goes into your body comes through your mouth and if you have any form of gum disease, it directly affects your body. Your gums are very connected to your bloodstream, so anything that is diseased there can directly affect your bloodstream. This means it can affect your heart and other organs, can be a problem if you are pregnant, and can cause other problems in areas of your body far from your mouth. And gum disease is an obvious contributor to tooth loss!
You might think, well, I brush and floss every day. And that is great! But there are other factors that can cause periodontal disease as well.
- Smoking. If you haven’t quit smoking, now is the time. Smoking not only exacerbates gum disease, it hinders any treatment we give you.
Hormonal changes in females. The hormonal changes females experience can cause their tissues to soften, which can invite gum disease.
- Diabetes. Diabetics often have a higher risk for infection in general and this includes gum disease.
- Other illnesses. Cancer or AIDS and their treatments can also affect healthy gums, which can lead to gum disease.
- Medications. Many prescriptions and over the counter medications cause “dry mouth”, which means you have little saliva. Saliva is important in your mouth as it inhibits germs becoming infections, which often result in periodontal disease. Also, some medications cause your gum tissue to grow abnormally and this can result in gum disease as well.
- Genetic susceptibility. Some people are more inclined to severe periodontal disease than others.
- Poor Oral Hygiene. This list would not be complete if we didn’t also include inadequate care of your teeth and gums. Brushing and flossing is essential and seeing your dentist regularly will go a long way to preventing periodontal disease.
Call Advanced Dental Care of Richmond or stop by our friendly office today. We can partner with you to make sure you mouth and smile are clean and awesome!