When it comes to periodontal disease — what is commonly referred to as gum disease — New Fairfield patients should know there are several factors that contribute to one’s overall risk. Recognizing that gum disease ranges from simple red or inflamed tissues to tooth loss and internal bone damage, knowing those risk factors can mean the difference between heading off a problem early or suffering more serious damage later.
Gum disease is generally more common in adults than children, with the exception of a mild form of the disease known as gingivitis. For children, improving the habits surrounding brushing and flossing can be enough to tip the scales, but as patients grow older, more problems arise as gum disease becomes more advanced.
The gums start to pull back from the teeth, which leaves a space for infections to begin and grow. As the infections progress, the body becomes its own worse enemy; immune system responses to those infections have a catastrophic effect on bone and connective tissue that, untreated, leads inevitably to tooth loss.
The risk for men is slightly higher than that for women in general; there is also a body of evidence that indicates the prevalence of gum disease is higher in some families than others, suggesting genetics are at play. We also see fewer nonsmokers who suffer from gum disease than smokers, and patients who suffer from diabetes are at higher risk as well.
Regular cleanings and examinations from dentists who are familiar with the early signs of gum disease can be the most effective mode of prevention. If you’re looking for a dentist New Fairfield residents turn to Dr. Lorraine Burio’s practice; for more information please contact us today.