According to a survey taken by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in two adults in the United States has gum disease. Even though the problem is so common, it’s easily preventable with the right precautionary measures. One great way to preserve the health of your mouth is to recognize and control common risk factors for this disease. Read on to learn four causes of gum disease so you can work with your dentist to protect your smile from permanent damage.
Plaque & Tartar Buildup
One of the most common causes of gum disease in Bergenfield is poor dental hygiene that results in a buildup of plaque and tartar. These substances provide an adhesive vehicle for harmful oral bacteria to attach to your teeth. When they’re not removed regularly, they begin producing waste in the form of enamel-eroding acid and toxins that can infect and inflame your gums, resulting in the early signs of periodontal disease, which is another term for gum disease. A great prevention tool is to maintain good at-home oral hygiene and visit your dentist every six months for checkups and cleanings.
Using Tobacco Products
Whether you’re smoking or chewing tobacco, the product weakens and harms the cells in your oral tissue, making it more difficult to fight off infections. It’s also known to cause dry mouth, which creates the perfect environment for harmful oral bacteria to thrive in. A good preventive strategy for this habit is to work on quitting this risk-increasing habit. While you’re working on that, it’s vital to keep up with your dental hygiene and receive periodontal treatment in Bergenfield, if necessary, to reduce the impact of the symptoms of gum disease.
Being pregnant, completing feminizing gender-affirming hormone therapy, or if you’re postmenopausal and completing hormone replacement therapy can all increase your susceptibility to gum disease. This is because the influx of hormones such as estrogen and progesterone, changes the amount of blood flowing to your gums, causing your oral tissues to react to irritants found in plaque. If you’re menopausal but aren’t on hormone replacement therapy, your estrogen levels have likely decreased, which can also increase your risk of developing gum disease by causing dry mouth. The best preventive measure to take is to keep up with your semi-annual checkups and cleanings with your dentist to ward off any signs of gum disease.
It can be difficult to get all the vitamins you need if you don’t take supplements, but not getting fulfilling certain nutritional needs can increase your risk of developing gum disease. Not getting enough vitamin C, plus a diet that’s high in sugar and carbohydrates can result in inflamed, bleeding, and swollen gums. This is because vitamin C strengthens the soft tissues of your mouth. To make sure that your mouth stays protected against gum disease, increase your consumption of citrus fruits, potatoes, and leafy greens.
If you have any questions about how your body or habits could be impacting your susceptibility to gum disease, don’t hesitate to discuss your concerns with your dentist in Bergenfield. They can work with you to diagnose and tackle gum disease in its early stages to prevent declining oral health.
About the Author
Dr. Darren Tong graduated in the top 10 percent of his class at the Columbia University School of Dental & Oral Surgery. He takes pride in being able to offer his patients comprehensive care, which is why he regularly completes continuing education in a wide variety of specialties, including dental implants, orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, and gum disease. By providing his patients with thorough preventive dental care, he aims to prevent oral problems from having an opportunity to form, so his patients can enjoy healthy teeth and gums for their entire lives. For questions or to schedule a routine checkup and cleaning, visit Washington Dental Associates’ website or call 201-453-4863.