Gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss among adults

Why might I be susceptible?

Gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss among adults. This is because a certain number of people have immune systems that overreact to the bad bacteria in their mouths. When this overreaction occurs, the immune system attacks and breaks down the bone and tissue that surround the tooth. This destruction is not predictable and can occur sporadically. Symptoms of gum disease only present at the later stages of the disease. Hence it is very important to have a regular dental check-up and visit the hygienist regularly. Both adults and children should be routinely checked for gum disease.

Keeping your gums in shape

You are the key person involved in looking after your teeth and gums. It is essential that you brush twice daily and floss every day. Regular dental checkups are required to monitor the health of your gums. Also, regular hygiene sessions are required to clean the teeth and gums and to provide oral hygiene advice on how you can really keep your teeth and gums clean. Keep in mind that healthy gums don’t bleed.

Are you living at high risk for gum disease?

Smoking: Numerous studies have shown that smokers have more gum disease. Smokers have increased levels of tartar in the mouth, and experience more tissue irritation, which makes their gums more susceptible to disease. Smokers have more bone loss and heal less quickly than non-smokers.

Stress: When our immune system is stressed it is difficult to fight off the bacteria that cause gum disease.

Dental neglect: Avoiding the dentist puts you at risk of diseases of the mouth, teeth and gums.

Heart disease: Gum inflammation products and bacteria in gum disease can cause heart disease, and in some cases, double the risk of a fatal heart attack. In addition, bacteria from your mouth may combine with blood-clotting cells called platelets and form heart-stopping blood clots.

Stroke: New studies show that 70% of the fatty deposits of stroke sufferers contain bacteria, of which 40% comes from the mouth.

Diabetics: This group of people is more likely to have gum disease. Diabetics who suffer from gum disease are also less likely to get a control of their blood sugar.

Premature birth: Pregnant women who have periodontal disease may be as much as seven times more likely to have a baby born early. Some research suggests that gum disease may increase the level of hormones that induce labour.

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