Gum disease is really common, so is it possible to avoid developing the condition as we age? Absolutely! As with many things in life – knowledge is power. If you understand the causes of the condition, then you are two steps ahead of everyone else and most likely to be able to avoid developing gum disease at any stage in your life.
The major cause of gum disease is the build up of plaque on the teeth. This plaque is caused by bacteria that grow and breed in everyone’s mouths. If you leave the plaque grow, then over time it starts to cause the gums to become diseased and recede away from the teeth. If the condition is allowed to continue, then it can cause serious problems such as infection of the gum, jaw and tooth loss.
Regular brushing and flossing have repeatedly been proven to play a major role in the prevention of gum disease, so it is very important that you maintain good oral health practices at home. However, there are some other factors at play as well.
Smoking has been shown to be one of the most common reasons for gum disease. If you are a smoker, then your chances of developing this condition are several times greater. All smokers are at much higher risk of developing gum disease along with many other health conditions, so before you next light up you might want to rethink what you are doing.
Genetics can also play a part in how likely you are to contract gum disease. Some people naturally have weaker gums than other people and are therefore more susceptible to the condition. If there is some history of gum disease in the family, then it pays to be extra careful about your dental health.
Hormone fluctuations in women may also contribute to the development of gum disease. At key times throughout a woman’s life, they are more likely to experience the condition. These times tend to be – menopause, during menstruation, puberty or pregnancy. There is also some evidence that women who have gum disease are more likely to have premature babies than women with a good level of gum health.
Stress is another factor that can affect your gum health. Stress is a killer- literally. It is estimated that around 90 per cent of disease in the body can be attributed to stress. So take a load off and relax and your whole body will thank you for it. Stress weakens the immune system and leads to all kinds of chaos occurring in your body, including the possibility of gum disease.