Oral Health Talk: Are You at Risk for Gum Disease?

dentist checking the gums and the teeth of a patientEverybody knows that a few slips and skips on oral hygiene make one at risk for gum disease. But do know that there are other factors that can put you writhing in pain with swollen, red gums? The key is to manage or better yet, avoid such factors to prevent gum disease.

Here’s a list of the things that put you at risk:

Smoking

Smoking isn’t — and has never really been — good to health. But in the context of oral health, this habit weakens your immune system, which makes it harder for the body to fight harmful bacteria in the mouth. Dentists in West Jordan say that smokers tend to have a lot more plaque and tartar on their teeth, which explains why they have an increased risk for gum disease.

Once gum disease sets in, periodontal pockets (or the spaces around the teeth) develop deeper. Over time, this would lead to bone loss. As if that’s not worse, smoking also interferes with treatment of gum disease. Remember that the longer you smoke, the harder it is to treat and stop gum disease. Kick the habit as early as you can.

Crooked Teeth

Misalignment in teeth gets in the way of cleaning teeth more thoroughly. Plaque and tartar collect more easily in the mouth. This is why crooked teeth shouldn’t be seen as merely a cosmetic problem that can be dismissed altogether. It’s a serious issue that could make you vulnerable to gum disease, at the same time, other conditions.

To treat crooked teeth, dentists often recommend Invisalign. West Jordan health experts say that these are better alternatives to braces if you don’t want metal appliances affecting your smile.

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Teeth Grinding

This doesn’t directly cause gum disease, but it can contribute to it. Experts say that this habit puts unnecessary pressure on the teeth, which can weaken the ligaments around the tooth and the bone. This process becomes all the more worse if you already have swollen gums.

Stress is one reason people grind their teeth, so relaxation techniques can help. Crooked teeth are another cause. A visit to the doctor and having orthodontic appliances in your mouth will straighten teeth and curb the habit.

So, are you at risk for gum disease? Cut down your risk by addressing these factors.