September is National Gum Care Month, so let’s discuss some of the broader risks of gum disease. Prevention periodontal disease is easy with the proper oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups, but many individuals have this condition. It may surprise you to learn that oral diseases are connected to other non-oral illnesses and can be the result of multiple controllable and uncontrollable factors.
Connections to Other Diseases
Researchers and scientists have found connections between periodontal disease and other common ailments. For certain health issues, gum illness can cause adverse effects:
- Heart disease: increased risk of clogged arteries
- Stroke: greater chance of blocked arteries causing an episode
- Diabetes: additional difficulty controlling blood sugar
- Prematurity: increased chance of premature delivery for pregnant mothers
- Respiratory illnesses: risk of gum bacteria causing infections or more permanent conditions
Gum Disease Risk Factors
These risk factors may not directly cause oral disease, but they often work against treatment and preventative measures. Common risk factors include:
- Genetics: Genes do not make periodontal disease inevitable, but they can increase the risk.
- Braces and bridgework: Oral equipment makes it more difficult to keep teeth and gums clean.
- Misaligned or crowded teeth: Crooked teeth may be hard to floss or brush on all surfaces.
- Grinding or clenching teeth: Grinding and clenching hasten the breakdown of bone, gums and teeth and can make periodontal disease worse.
- Stress: Excessive stress weakens the body’s immune system and increases the likelihood of grinding or clenching.
- Hormone imbalance: Normal life events like puberty, pregnancy and menopause severally affect hormone levels, which can increase the severity of existing disease.
- Prescriptions: Some medications cause dry mouth, which is the ideal environment for plaque build up.
Call Your Local Dentist Today
To discuss your gum health with a general dentist in Mt. Pleasant, SC, give Dr. Kevin Hogan a call at (843) 639-5044. Wish him a happy National Gum Care Month and ask for more information about periodontal diseases, preventative measures and treatment options.