The health of your smile doesn’t just stop at your teeth. Good gums are vital for maintaining a healthy smile, as they provide a home for your teeth to live in. When gingivitis (mild gum disease) and periodontitis (advanced gum disease) threaten your gum health, you may begin to develop problems with your gums that require complex treatment and you could even lose your natural teeth. Here are 5 things you should be aware of when it comes to gum disease, that may in turn, help you to improve your gum health.
Gum disease can be contagious
The last thing we need right now is another contagious disease! Don’t fret though, as you can’t catch gum disease by merely being around someone who has it, though it is possible for gum disease be passed on if you were to regularly kiss a sufferer’s or use their toothbrush. Symptoms of gum disease include chronic bad breath and bleeding gums – make sure you book an appointment with the hygienist straight away if you notice either of these.
It’s linked to other conditions
Gum disease has the potential to affect other aspects of your health – one of the most recent discoveries was the connection between gum disease and Alzheimer’s. Meanwhile, gum disease can impact upon your heart health, as untreated plaque is capable of entering the blood stream and blocking your arteries, making you more susceptible to stroke and heart disease.
Quitting smoking is essential for healthy gums
If you’re looking to improve your gum health, start with quitting smoking. Smokers are on average, about twice as likely to lose their teeth than non-smokers, equating to about 4-5 teeth. Smoking irritates your gums and causes inflammation, in addition to bringing about gum recession, which can make it more difficult to treat gum disease in the future. Here at Corner House, our team are here to help and support you to become smoke-free in 2021.
Hormone changes can affect women’s gum health
A lesser well-known fact about gum health is that women’s hormone changes make them more susceptible to developing gum disease. Women have high levels of oestrogen and progesterone, which cause more blood flow to the gums, rendering them more sensitive and prone to inflammation. Periods such as puberty, pregnancy and menopause are especially problematic, but the good news is that with regular professional cleanings and good oral hygiene habits, problems can be kept at bay.
Gum disease can be genetic
Studies have suggested that your family history can be an influence when it comes to developing gum disease. Your tooth structure and size of your mouth can also be factors, as these can depend on how easy of difficult it is to reach part of your mouth to remove food particles and bacteria. However, just because you may be pre-disposed to gum disease, this doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to end up with periodontitis of gum disease-related tooth loss.