Even if you brush and floss every day and see your dentist every six months for dental cleanings and checkups, some of your other daily habits may be compromising your oral health and increasing your risk of developing issues like gum disease and tooth decay, which can ultimately lead to tooth and bone loss, even in relatively young patients.
Not surprisingly, many of the same factors that negatively impact other aspects of your health can contribute to oral diseases as well. For example, it is well-known that smoking is a risk factor for conditions ranging from cancers to heart disease. Your cigarettes or cigars may also create the need for a periodontist to remove diseased gum tissue.
Researchers have unearthed evidence suggesting a significant link between smoking and gum disease, with one study finding that smokers were four times as likely to develop periodontal disease as non-smokers.
Fortunately, it seems that those effects can be reversed when the patient quits smoking. In the study mentioned above, those smokers who quit saw their risk of periodontal disease drop significantly in the decade that followed. Here’s yet another compelling reason to kick tobacco products to the curb.
Patients who want to protect their gums should also pay close attention to the foods they eat. Your periodontist will also advise you to enjoy a healthy, balanced diet in order to promote healthy gums. You need certain nutrients to maintain a healthy smile, and of course, you should limit your consumption of sugary snacks.
Do you have trouble managing stress? If so, your gums may suffer for it. One study found that people with higher levels of stress and less effective coping skills appeared to face a higher risk for gum disease.
Although patients may perceive periodontal disease as a condition that only affects older people, it’s important to take steps to protect your oral health at a much younger age. If you want to learn more about what you can do to prevent gum disease, consult with our skilled team of periodontists to develop a plan. Contact our office today to learn more.