Risk Factors for Gingivitis: Part 1

teeth and gums

Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums that develops before gum disease. The plaque will begin to build up, your gums will become inflamed, and the gums may bleed when brushing your teeth or flossing. If taken care of, gingivitis does not always result in gum disease, but it should be taken seriously so that it does not progress. If any of the items listed below apply to you, you may be at greater risk for gingivitis:

1. Smoking

Or any other form of tobacco use. Once again, the world is telling you that smoking is not healthy for your body. It’s not just your lungs and heart at risk and it’s not just the risk of cancer. Since tobacco goes into your mouth, it affects your mouth too, because those cigarettes, chewing tobaccos, cigars or any other tobacco products definitely aren’t helping to keep your mouth clean and your immune system high. It doesn’t just discolor your formerly pearly whites. It’s unhealthy for your gums and teeth in general. Even breathing in secondhand smoke can put you at a greater risk for gingivitis.

2. An Unhealthy Diet

Nutrition plays a vital part in your oral health. Most people crave two things—carbohydrates and sugar. Unfortunately, those two guilty pleasures put you on the straight and narrow path to gingivitis. Why? Because just like you love those foods, they’re the foods the bacteria in your mouth love the most too. Those bacteria will feed and then spread until you’re officially suffering from gingivitis.

3. Age

Unfortunately, gingivitis is yet another disease that becomes more and more likely as you get older. This may be due to the fact that typically the older you get the more medications you take. Medications that may result in dry mouth. Additionally, the elderly are more likely to suffer from other diseases and ailments lower the immune system and negatively affecting your teeth in general. That means the older you get, the more important it is to keep your dentist’s appointments.

4. Stress

Stress is linked to so many diseases, and your mouth isn’t free from the drain stress puts on your body. Stress can lower your immune system making you more susceptible to gingivitis in addition to other oral health complications. Stress even makes it more difficult to fight gingivitis, so you’re more likely to end up with gum disease. Life is stressful for us all, but in order to keep your health in check, find a way to relieve that stress and keep it under control so you don’t end up with even more to worry about.

5. Diabetes

When combined with diabetes the symptoms of gingivitis may worse. Further, gingivitis may make the symptoms of diabetes worse. Diabetes can weaken your immune system and therefore increase the likelihood of developing gingivitis. So just like with the rest of your health keep all of your doctors up to date on your diabetic state.

6. Medications

Certain drugs can affect your oral health. So make sure you’re aware of all the potential side effects of any drug you take. If the medication does pose a greater threat to your oral health, be thorough about your dental cleansing routine. Additionally, make sure that all of your healthcare providers—including the dentist, know all of the medications you are taking. That’s the best way to make sure that your oral health isn’t put at risk.

If you are at greater risk for developing gingivitis talk to your dentist about what you can do to help fight the disease and even prevent it from developing in the first place. Don’t forget to tune in next month for Risk Factors for Gingivitis: Part 2.

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