What Are the Common Causes of Poor Gum Health?
Poor gum health can be attributed to a number of different factors and is often the result of bad oral hygiene habits, smoking, and even the use of certain medications. When your gum health is jeopardized, it can significantly impact your oral and overall general health. What does the health of your teeth and gums have to do with your overall physical health? Actually, quite a lot.
According to the American Dental Association, your oral health and physical health are interrelated. Your mouth is the gateway to understanding what is going on inside your body. Knowing what the causes of poor gum health are and how they can have an impact on your body will provide you with the information you need to care for your oral health.
When gum health is left unaddressed, it can lead to gum disease, tooth loss, costly restorative dentistry procedures to improve your oral health, and other systemic medical conditions, such as diabetes, oral cancer, and heart disease. At The Smile Center in Virginia Beach, VA, our doctors provide routine examinations to help you maintain good oral hygiene.
Common Factors that Contribute to Poor Gum Health
Below are the different factors that can cause poor gum health:
- Age: Patients over the age of 65 have a higher risk of experiencing gum health issues.
- Heredity: If you have a family history of gum disease in your family, you may be at risk for developing it yourself.
- Poor Oral Hygiene: This is the number one cause of gum health issues in the United States. Patients who fail to brush their teeth at least twice a day, floss daily, and visit the dentist for professional cleanings are more likely to develop gum disease. In addition, improper oral hygiene habits, such as aggressive brushing can cause gums to recede.
- Tobacco Products: Patients who smoke or use tobacco products place themselves at great risk for oral health complications, such as gum disease and oral cancer.
- Teeth Grinding: Also known as bruxism, this oral health condition weakens the enamel on your teeth and makes you more susceptible for bacterial overgrowth. As the bacteria remains, it can settle in between teeth and underneath your gum line, increasing your risk for tooth decay and gum disease.
- Medications: Certain medications for anxiety, birth control, and high blood pressure can cause dry mouth and increase your risk for gum disease. Speak with your doctor and dentist about the possible oral health side effects of the medications you are on and what you can do to combat them.
What Are the Symptoms?
When gum health is compromised, it can quickly lead to a bacterial infection within the mouth known as gum disease. This oral health condition is often hard to detect in its early stage, which is why it’s important to visit the dentist every six months. If you experience any of the below symptoms, it’s important to visit the dentist as soon as possible to prevent further, more complicated issues from developing.
- Gums that bleed when brushing or flossing
- Tender or sensitive gums
- Tooth pain
- Swollen and red gums
- Bad breath
- Shifting or loose teeth
Protect Your Oral Health
If you are concerned you may have gums that have been compromised, it’s important to schedule an appointment with The Smile Center as quickly as possible. To do so, you can contact us online or give us a call at (757) 473-8482. Once gum disease develops, it will progress quickly. We offer a variety of periodontal and restorative treatments to help you maintain your smile.