Risk Factors that Increase the Likelihood of Periodontitis
Posted on 8/21/2023 by Todd Jorgenson
|Periodontitis is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the gums. In severe cases, periodontitis can cause tooth loss. However, periodontitis is a preventable illness and entirely manageable and treatable. Knowing the risk factors that increase the likelihood of the disease can help one know how to better manage their teeth and gums.
Poor Oral Hygiene
Poor oral hygiene is the main culprit of periodontitis. This is because of the failure to brush and floss, which leads to the buildup of plaque and tartar. This causes inflammation and eventually causes periodontitis. Brushing, flossing, and using a microbial mouthwash reduce the risk of getting periodontitis.
Smoking and Tobacco Use
Smoking increases the risk of getting periodontal disease. It weakens the body's ability to fight infections, making it harder to fight off periodontitis-causing bacteria. The disrupted immune response causes loose teeth and low density of the alveolar ridge. Changes in the dilation of the blood vessels also reduce blood flow and oxygen to the gums, increasing the risk of periodontitis.
Systemic diseases like Diabetes Mellitus increase the risk of getting periodontitis. Diabetes affects the body's ability to process sugar. The disease weakens the immune system, making it hard to fight bacteria. High blood sugar levels also increase bacteria overgrowth, leading to gum inflammation.
Some medications increase the risk of getting periodontitis. Medications like antidepressants reduce saliva production, causing dry mouth. This increases bacteria overgrowth and food particles in the mouth., increasing the risk of periodontitis.
Several hormonal changes can increase the risk of getting periodontitis. This is more common in pregnant women and during menopause. This is because hormones increase the likelihood of inflammation and infection, causing periodontitis.
Age and Genetics
Age increases the likelihood of getting periodontitis as it becomes harder for the body to fight infections. This also happens because it gets harder to perform dental care as you get older. Also, if there is a family history of periodontitis, it increases the risk of getting periodontitis.