Gum disease is a bacterial infection of the soft tissues in the mouth that occurs with the buildup of plaque. If left untreated, it can eventually cause tooth and bone loss. Severe cases of gum disease may also contribute to other medical complications, including coronary artery disease. There are multiple factors that can increase the risk of gum disease.
Lifestyle factors can have a significant impact on oral health. Poor oral hygiene, such as inadequate brushing habits and failure to floss, leads to the formation of plaque. Tobacco use also contributes to the development of gum disease, as does stress, because stress inhibits the actions of the immune system. Additionally, consuming a diet high in sugar elevates the acidity in the mouth, which encourages the growth of bacteria.
Gum disease is also more likely in women due to hormonal issues. Progesterone levels increase prior to menstruation, which can cause inflammation of the gums. Oral contraceptives that contain desogestrel may also contribute to it, and pregnancy can worsen gum disease. Menopause is also a factor because of bone loss, which affects oral structures.
Medications and Diseases
In addition to oral contraceptives, other medications such as antidepressants and medicines for the heart can be a factor in gum disease development. As well, diseases like diabetes increase the risk because of the elevation of inflammation in the body. Other diseases that may raise your risk include osteoporosis, tuberculosis, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. Inflammation and bleeding of the gums is also associated with HIV.
Aging and Genetics
It is possible that certain people are genetically predisposed to developing gum disease. This may be because genetic factors are linked to the body’s inflammatory response. Along with genetics, age is another factor that contributes to your risk level. If you are over the age of 70, it is much more likely that you’ll have gum disease and tooth loss.
These risk factors for gum disease can be overcome with proper dental care. Schedule a dental check-up and cleaning with Colorado Advanced Dentistry by calling (720) 420-1103. If you have gum disease, we can treat it painlessly with LANAP laser gum therapy.