Jan
10

Gum Disease Can Strike at Any Age

People of all ages are at risk of periodontal disease, or gum disease – not just those in middle-age or senior citizens.

Even with a beautiful smile with straight, white teeth, gum disease may have taken hold without obvious symptoms. In fact, periodontal problems can begin for those in their 20’s or even teens.

Gum disease, or periodontitis, is an inflammation of the gum and bone that support the teeth. If untreated, periodontal disease can quickly become serious and result in loose teeth or even tooth loss.

Risk of Gum Disease During Pregnancy

Women who are pregnant are at a higher risk of gum disease. Gum disease in those who are pregnant is especially problematic because inflammation from periodontal disease may make pre-term delivery more likely.

Gum disease has also been linked to other health problems including heart disease.

Teenagers Are at Risk of Periodontal Disease Too

Today’s teens are at special risk of gum disease because of lifestyle issues as well as heredity. You are more likely to have gum problems if your parents do. Other risk factors include:

  • Sugary and starchy foods and drinks. These cause problems when they remain on your teeth if you don’t brush right away. These foods feed the acids that attack your tooth enamel.
  • Wearing braces. It is difficult to clean your teeth while wearing braces, so take special care with your oral hygiene.
  • Medical conditions. Certain medical diseases including diabetes can make gum disease more likely.
  • Poor health care. An inadequate diet combined with stress and too little sleep can leave you susceptible to infection including in your gums.
  • Hormonal changes. Body changes, especially for girls during puberty, can make gums more sensitive to irritation.
  • Tobacco use. Smoking will cause stained teeth and bad breath but is also a leading cause of gum disease.

Watch for the Warning Signs of Gum Disease

Please call us as soon as possible for an exam if you or your child exhibits any of these symptoms:

  • Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing
  • Gum tenderness
  • Gum redness
  • Gum puffiness
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Gums receding from the teeth

These are signs of gingivitis, the beginning stage of gum disease. Without good daily oral care that includes brushing and flossing, as well as regular dental check-ups, dental plaque will harden into tartar that destroys gum tissue. This is periodontitis, a more advanced type of gum disease.

Let Us Know If You Have Questions on Any Aspect of Oral Health Care

Dr. Lorraine Burio of Candlewood Dental Care has been treating and educating patients for over twenty-five years. Our office serves the New Fairfield, New Milford, Danbury, and Sherman areas of CT and Pawling, Patterson and Putnam Lake of New York. You can call us at 203-746-1200 or make an appointment here.

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