You recently witnessed the demise of a love one’s teeth. He used to love his smile, and then a snowball effect occurred – he lost one tooth and others followed afterwards. You always thought he practiced decent oral hygiene, but he still ended up with gum disease. Your State College dentist says that this could be the result of certain predetermined factors that your family members have been unaware of. Read on to learn what they are.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is a degenerative condition of the gums, where they deteriorate over time if neglected. Here are the different levels of this condition:
- Gingivitis – This is the initial stage, where plaque buildup has begun to cause irritated, puffy and easily made to bleed gums.
- Periodontitis (Gum Disease) – Untreated, this can morph into permanent damage to the fibers and bone that hold your teeth in your gums.
- Advanced Periodontitis – The final step is advanced periodontitis and involves the destruction of the fibers and bones holding your teeth in place. As a result, they can become loose and eventually fall out.
Predisposition for Gum Disease
Studies have also found that some people have a greater disposition for developing gum disease. Here are some of the factors that have an influence:
- Age – Elderly populations are more likely to develop gum disease because of the number of years that any issues have had to worsen. Because they’re older, if they’ve practiced poor oral hygiene, they’ve had longer for the adverse effects to materialize.
- Stress – Prolonged periods of stress compromise your immune system, reducing your body’s ability to fight off harmful bacteria. Furthermore, the inflammation that is a byproduct of increased stress, encourages bacteria growth.
- Genetics – Recent studies show that genetics may play a role in up to 50% of the cases of gum disease.
- Medications – Certain medications can contribute to extreme dry mouth, which encourages bacteria growth. These little monsters can then multiply and attack your teeth and gums in a more aggressive manner.
If you are more prone to developing gum disease because of any of the above listed factors, then it’s super important that you remain proactive, whether it’s through seeking better stress management practices or consulting with your physician about alternatives in medications.
One of the great assets you have to help fight gum disease is your dentist in State College. By visiting semi-annually for cleanings and examinations, you can develop an umbrella of protection for your entire mouth. But along with these visits, it’s necessary for you to practice excellent oral hygiene, which includes brushing and flossing your teeth at least daily.
You are not handicapped by your current physical state, genetics or the condition of your surroundings. What matters most is your mind. And by making the decision to fight for better oral health, you will achieve and maintain it.
About the Author
Dr. Chris J. Devlin received his Bachelor of Science degree from Penn State University. After a stellar football career, he attended the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine, earning his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree. Dr. Devlin practices at Chris J. Devlin, D.M.D., P.C. and can be reached for more information through his website.