Why Your Gums Aren’t HealthyJuly 21, 2017
You can’t see them, but they are already there. They can start causing problems before you realize what is happening.
But you can fight back. You can defeat the bacteria that cause gum disease.
We offer non-surgical gum disease treatments that can remove the infection so you can have a healthy mouth again. While we are happy to help save your smile, we also want you to know what could be contributing to your periodontal problems.
What’s Hurting Your Gums?
Bacteria are causing infections, and they are the reason gum disease has developed.
These bacteria are always present in your mouth. Preventive care (brushing, flossing, regular professional dental cleanings) help to keep the bacteria under control, which greatly reduces your risk of periodontal disease.
With this in mind, let’s consider some factors that will raise your risk for gum disease:
▷ POOR ORAL HYGIENE
If you aren’t making the effort to keep your mouth clean, then you are inviting bacteria to grow, to form plaque, and to start invading your gums.
Brushing and flossing both help to remove bacteria and plaque from the surfaces of your teeth and between your teeth and gums. If you aren’t brushing (twice daily) and flossing (once daily) as often as you should, then bacteria will continue to multiply and cause problems.
▷ USING TOBACCO
Next to not brushing or flossing, using tobacco may be the worst thing you could do for your oral health. It doesn’t matter what kind of tobacco — cigars, cigarettes, chewing tobacco — all of it is bad for your mouth and your gums.
And don’t trick yourself into thinking e-cigarettes are “better” in this regard. The products used for vaping also contain nicotine, and nicotine is harmful to the soft tissues of your mouth — no matter how it gets there.
Studies have shown that tobacco users are significantly more likely to develop gum disease. For example, someone who smokes a half pack of cigarettes per day is three times more likely than a nonsmoker to develop gum disease. (That risk increases the more you smoke.)
And if you do develop gum disease, your tobacco use can make it more difficult to treat and more likely to return.
▷ HAVING DIABETES
You may not be able to control the fact that you have diabetes, but keeping your condition under control can reduce your risk of periodontal problems.
Multiple studies have shown that diabetics are more likely to develop gum disease than other people. The reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, but one hypothesis starts with the fact the diabetics are more likely to develop dry mouth, too. A dry mouth is a good environment for bacteria to grow, which might explain the increased risk of gum disease.
Furthermore, having gum disease can make it more difficult to control your blood sugar levels, which is another reason to keep your diabetes in check.
▷ FAMILY HISTORY
This is another thing you can’t control, but you should know about. Gum disease, like other diseases, is more common in some families than in others.
If your parents and grandparents were prone to gum problems, then you may be more susceptible to them, too. This is all the more reason to be disciplined about your daily hygiene routine and about getting regular dental cleanings and exams.
We Are Here To Help
We want you to have the healthiest mouth possible. Whether you want to prevent gum disease or you believe you might need treatment, our team at Northalsted Dental Spa wants to help.