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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Gum disease: 5 risk factors and how Things have Changed

Risk factors for gum disease include: 1. Age. Some studies show that older adults have the highest rates of periodontal disease. More than 70 percent of people in the U.S. who are 65 and older have periodontitis. 2. Tobacco use and/or smoking. In addition to being linked to cancer, lung disease, heart disease and other health issues, those who use tobacco may have an increased risk of periodontal disease. Studies have indicated that tobacco use may be one of the most significant risk factors when it comes to developing and speeding the progression of periodontal disease. 3. Genetics. Some people may be genetically prone to having gum disease. Even if they brush, floss and see their dentist regularly, those with genetic dispositions may still be diagnosed with periodontal disease. Identifying these types of people with a genetic test before they show symptoms can lead to early intervention that could help them keep their teeth for life. 4. Grinding or clenching teeth. These actions can create extra force on the tissue that supports the teeth and could speed up the time it takes for periodontal tissue to be destroyed. There is an easy solution for this. 5. Obesity and poor diet. Diets lacking vital nutrients can impact the immune system and make it more difficult for the body to fight infection. Periodontal disease begins as an infection, so lack of nutrition can wreak havoc on the gums. Research also shows that obesity could increase the chances of getting periodontal disease. A gum disease (periodontitis or periodontal disease) diagnosis today is not as dire as it was years ago. If caught early at your screening appointments, it can be comfortably treated and reversed or slowed significantly. Also, with all the updated medical testing for osteopenia and osteoporosis, these diagnoses are coming earlier in life. The medications used to treat the condition must be taken in the presence of a healthy mouth. If you have gum disease, the physician may not allow you to take the medication if the gum disease is not treated. If the gum disease is too progressed, it could be too late. Joint replacement is also very common today. Without the replacement, your quality of life may be significantly affected. If you have periodontal disease, your surgeon may cancel the surgery. Patients need to be cleared by their dentist prior to having surgery. See your dentist regularly, and be consistently screened for periodontal disease. Have the necessary diagnostic information collected at your dentist, and you can be properly monitored. Your mouth is linked to total body health, and keeping it healthy will ultimately improve the quality of your life. Source: American Academy of Periodontology; Centers for Disease Control


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