Over time, periodontal disease can wreak havoc on your oral health. Teeth can easily become loose, or even fall out, from progressive gum disease. It’s also a sign that your mouth is unhealthy in general. Those with gum disease also often have tooth decay. Tooth decay can eventually get so bad that a root canal or extraction is needed.
Gum disease can affect not only the health of your mouth but the appearance of your smile as well. When your gums recede due to periodontal disease, they eventually expose more of each tooth. The part of the tooth that becomes exposed is a different color than the rest of the tooth, creating a cosmetic issue. Gum disease also creates red, sore gums that are highly visible and easy to distinguish from healthy gums.
So what causes gum disease, and how can you avoid the painful and unsightly consequences of this common oral health problem? Bacteria is at the root of the issue, but there are many reasons that bacteria levels in the mouth can increase. Here are some of the most unexpected factors that can lead to gum disease.
While your dentist might suggest that gum disease is linked to your brushing habits, it really isn’t in some cases. Some people with progressive gum disease have a family history of developing the issue. The health of your gums is partly due to genetic predisposition. If your parents or a grandparent had unhealthy gums, it could mean that you are at a high risk of developing gum disease as well.
It’s well established that hormones can affect overall health. If there are hormonal changes taking place, your body will naturally change. After all, have you ever seen teenagers who have lots and lots of acne? This is a medical condition caused by a fluctuation of hormones in the body.
Hormonal changes that can lead to gum disease most often appear in women who are pregnant. Their changing bodies and the abundance of hormones affect every aspect of their health. Gum disease is not dangerous to the baby; however, it can be a problem for the mother. Pregnant women need to be especially diligent about their oral health and should visit a dentist regularly.
If you have gum disease, it may even affect your ability to conceive. While this is more common in men, women can be affected by this fertility issue too. In men, it can even lead to erectile dysfunction. Gum disease should be treated before other treatment options are considered.
The Natural Aging Process
Blaming it on oral hygiene? That might not actually be the cause. As we age, so does our entire body. Teeth change drastically when an adult gets older and maintaining their health becomes even more difficult. That’s why older adults need routine dental checks more often than their younger counterparts.
A Sign of A Serious Disease
The health of your teeth and gums is far more than just a reflection of your mouth. Oral health issues can also signal that a serious change is taking place inside the body. Dentists may see problems that can be symptoms of more severe, internal diseases and refer their patients to an internal medicine doctor if they believe there is something serious causing the problem.
Several diseases can have an adverse effect on oral health. Some of these include:
It Could Even Be A Side Effect of Medication
Certain medications can also increase your risk of gum disease. A seizure medication known as Phenytoin, Cyclosporine used to treat implant rejection, and blood pressure medication can sometimes cause gum disease. Gum disease is also a common side effect of undergoing chemotherapy.
Gum Disease Can Be Contagious
Gum disease can be something you catch! If you are thinking about sipping your friend’s soda, you might want to think again. Along with other diseases, swapping saliva can cause gum disease bacteria to invade your mouth.
Remember the Common Causes
While there is a chance that your gum disease is being caused by something you may not have thought of, it is more likely due to a more common cause. If you are noticing early signs of gum disease, you should consider some simple lifestyle change to reverse the effects.
The most common cause of periodontal disease is poor dental hygiene. Those who are suffering from gum disease should make sure they use mouthwash and floss once a day. This is often overlooked as many people only brush their teeth. Brushing should be done twice a day.
Another cause could be the food you consume. Foods that are high in sugar harm more than just your teeth. They can also cause gum disease and can threaten your health overall.
Smoking, especially cigarettes, can also lead to gum disease. Chewing tobacco is even worse for your gums. If you need help quitting, your dentist may be able to help.
Suffering From Gum Disease? Call Dr. John Paul Gallardo
Dr. Gallardo is a leading dentist in the Miami area who specializes in periodontics. He has been treating complex oral health problems for 25 years. Dr. Gallardo has a private practice known as Miami Perio. Call to make an appointment at (305)-547-8687.