Gum disease affects a staggering number of people—an estimated half of adult Americans have
some form of the disease. Ranging from mild to severe, gum disease can wreak havoc on your
smile and is a major cause of tooth loss in older adults.
Fortunately, many of the risk factors of gum disease are controllable. Through the right oral
care habits, you can reduce your risk of gum disease and keep your smile healthy. However,
some people are more at risk for gum disease than others. Who is at the highest risk for this
Those Who Have Poor Oral Care Habits
People who neglect to take care of their smile are among those who have the highest risk for
gum disease. This is includes not brushing and flossing on a daily basis, which can easily allow
plaque to build up and turn into tartar. Once plaque and tartar build up around the gumline,
they can work to irritate the gum tissue and cause infection.
To supplement home care habits, regular cleanings by your dentist can go a long way towards
preventing gum disease. People who skip the dentist have a greater chance that plaque will
build up, therefore increasing their risk of developing gum disease over time.
Those Who Smoke
Tobacco of any kind is terrible for your gums. This includes chewing tobacco, cigarettes, cigars,
and yes, even e-cigarettes! Using tobacco remains one of the top risk factors for gum disease,
but it’s also one of the most preventable.
Using tobacco also increases your risk of developing oral cancer among other types of cancer.
Tobacco affects the gums by reducing blood supply to the gum tissue. This is dangerous
because lack of oxygen in the gum tissue can mask symptoms of gum disease, so many smokers
don’t find out they have the disease until it’s progressed significantly.
By quitting smoking, you can take control over your health and reduce your chances of gum
disease for a healthy smile!
Those Who Are Older
Among one of the uncontrollable risk factors for gum disease includes your age. Older adults
have a higher risk of developing gum disease simply because plaque has had more time to
affect their smile without proper care. Fortunately, the better care you take of your smile
through daily brushing and flossing and visiting your dentist at least once a year, you can lower
your risk of gum disease!