Gum Disease Risk Factors

Three out of every four Americans today suffer from some form of gum (periodontal) disease. Unfortunately, about 40 percent of those people are completely unaware that they have a dental issue. Such a widespread disease is often linked to the risk factors that commonly trigger the onset of infection. While there are certainly some people who have genetically susceptible to eventually getting a gum disease, understanding the most common risk factors will help to prevent a large portion of gum disease patients today.

Below, we outline the most frequently seen risk factors linked to gum disease in the hopes to help shed light on what initiates the development of gum disease.

Diseases linked to a higher risk of periodontal disease:

  • Diabetes
  • Osteoporosis
  • Osteonecrosis
  • HIV-Associated Gingivitis
  • Herpes-Related Gingivitis
  • Autoimmune Diseases
  • Genetic Disorders

Oral risk factors:

  • Smoking, nicotine
  • Sugar and acid
  • Improper oral hygiene
  • Anatomical tooth abnormalities
  • Wisdom teeth
  • Poorly contoured restorations

Female hormonal changes risk factors:

  • Pregnancy
  • Prior to menstruation
  • Menopause
  • Oral contraceptives

Additional risk factors:

  • Medications: cyclosporine, phenytoin, nifedipine
  • Genetic propensity
  • Intimacy
  • Vitamin D deficiency

Being aware of these common risk factors associated with gum disease will help not only to prevent the onset, but also to make those who are particularly susceptible aware. In the latter cases, the patient will have an opportunity to monitor the state of their mouth frequently as they are made aware of the higher risk level.

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