Poway and Rancho Bernardo, CA
Gum disease is an oral infection that attacks the gums and eventually the teeth and jawbone, leading to unpleasant side effects like bad breath and tooth loss. Nearly half of adults have gum disease, although it is preventable. Regularly brushing your teeth is one of the best ways to prevent gum disease, although it’s not the only thing you need to do to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Today on the blog, our Poway dentist explains 10 ways you can get gum disease even if you brush your teeth every day.
It’s in your genes
Gum disease is known to run in families. However, that isn’t always the reason for bad teeth or gum disease. While a family history could make you more susceptible to gum disease, it doesn’t mean that you are destined to get it. It just means that good oral hygiene is even more critical for you.
Too much oral bacteria
Virulent bacteria can be found in some patients, which makes them more likely to develop gum disease. While it is manageable, at-home oral hygiene isn’t enough to protect your oral health. Professional dental treatments may be needed to combat the infection and prevent it from worsening.
Side effect of medication
Hundreds of medications have side effects, such as bleeding gums or gum inflammation. Some medications or medical treatments dry out the mouth, which increases harmful oral bacteria responsible for cavities and gum disease. While you may not be able to quit taking your medications, there are ways you can combat these side effects if you speak with a dentist near you in Poway.
You’re a tobacco user
We aren’t just blaming cigarettes. Chewing tobacco and even vaping contains tobacco, which is harmful to your overall health and mouth. Tobacco users are two to three times more likely to develop gum disease and experience tooth loss. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smokers are 64.2% more likely to develop gum disease than nonsmokers.
Your hormones fluctuate
Hormone fluctuations are responsible for gum inflammation and infection. These hormonal changes may occur during pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause. It’s essential, however, to receive necessary dental care and practice good oral hygiene if you are pregnant because low birth rates and other pregnancy complications have been linked to untreated gum disease in mothers.
You have nutritional deficiencies
Bleeding gums may be caused by nutritional deficiencies like low vitamin C levels. Talk to your doctor about conducting routine bloodwork to check for vitamin deficiencies and ensure you supplement the right amount. Never begin vitamins or supplements without first talking with your primary physician.
According to the CDC, more than half of adults over the age of 30 have some form of gum disease. That’s 64 million people walking around every day with an active infection that their immune system is constantly trying to battle. That percentage increases to more than 70% in adults 65 years of age and older.
You use improper brushing techniques
Brushing your teeth only produces effective results if you’re doing it right. Using improper brushing techniques, like brushing back and forth instead of in small circles or not brushing for two minutes each time, means you might be leaving bacteria and plaque behind on your teeth and gums, increasing your risk of gum disease.
You don’t floss
Flossing is the only way to clean between your teeth, where bacteria and buildup occur just as easily as on the visible surfaces of your teeth. Not flossing means you’re not cleaning your teeth entirely and have an increased risk of cavities between your teeth, bad breath, and gum disease.
You have health issues
Health issues like heart disease, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis are systemic diseases that lead to widespread inflammation that also could have an impact on your gums. Coincidentally, research proves a strong link between oral bacteria and these systemic diseases. Some studies have discovered that oral bacteria from the mouth travels into the bloodstream, which can lead to inflammation throughout the body, and increases one’s risk of systemic diseases.
What to do if you have gum disease
The best course of action to take if you have gum disease is to be seen by the dentist. From there, a unique treatment plan can be devised to stop the disease from worsening and protect your oral health. Combating gum disease often takes more than just brushing your teeth every day. If you experience inflamed, red, or bleeding gums, you could have gum disease that requires professional treatments. Contact Smiles by Dr. Cook by calling (858) 673-0141 or contact us today.