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Woman experiencing a tooth pain
Gum disease in Westlake poses serious oral health risks. If you suffer from advanced gum disease, you may have swollen, red, or tender gums. Gum disease is not only painful and uncomfortable, but it also leads to a higher risk of other diseases. Periodontal disease is linked to diabetes, stroke, heart attack, and different forms of cancer. If detected early, gum disease is entirely treatable. Additionally, simply practicing good oral hygiene habits can prevent gingivitis altogether. Keep reading to learn more about risk factors for gum disease, including advanced age, tobacco use, genetic predisposition, and prescription medications.

Advanced Age

As you get older, you face a substantially higher risk of acquiring gum disease. In fact, over 70% of Americans over age 65 suffer from periodontal disease. In some cases, seniors may simply allow their good oral hygiene practices to fall by the wayside. Poor nutrition is also a risk factor for periodontal disease, as are other systemic diseases. Seniors are more likely to have heart disease and diabetes both of which place them at high risk for periodontal disease.

Tobacco Use

A dentist regularly cautions patients of all ages to quit smoking as soon as possible. Not only is tobacco bad for your overall health, smoking cigarettes, and cigars are one of the highest risk factors for periodontal disease. In fact, tobacco use may be the most significant predictor of gum disease in general.

Genetic Predisposition

Some people are simply predisposed to developing periodontal disease because they have a family history of gum disease. While it may seem like there are not many dental patients can do about a genetic predisposition, the opposite is true. If you are more likely to have gum disease, it just becomes more important to visit your dentist for regular periodontal screenings.

Prescription Medications

General dentistry has also linked several prescription medications to gum disease. Oral contraceptives, anti-depressant medications, and some cardiovascular pills can compromise the health of your gums. Make sure to tell your dentist about all medications you are currently taking.