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John P. Goodman DDS

Common Causes of Poor Gum Health: Tips for Prevention

By Dr. John Goodman on April 26, 2017

A woman at a dental examTo have the healthiest smile possible, it's important to practice good oral hygiene and to visit your dentist regularly. This combination of at-home care and professional care will keep your teeth and gums looking their healthiest for years to come.

The team at our Kansas City restorative dentistry center would like to consider some common causes of poor gum health. We'll then offer some tips on prevention that will help you avoid periodontal disease and gum recession.

Poor Oral Hygiene

If you don't brush or floss enough, you run a much greater risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease. This is why proper oral hygiene is so crucial to having a healthy and beautiful smile.

Be sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day and to floss your teeth at least once a night. Ideally you should brush and floss after every meal.

Brushing and Flossing Too Aggressively

You might not have realized this, but there's a wrong way to brush your teeth. People who brush and floss aggressively can do serious damage to their gumline, leading to gum recession.

When you brush your teeth, be sure to be gentle yet thorough, and that you use a toothbrush with soft bristles. When you floss your teeth, do not snap the floss and saw at the gumline, but be gentle as well.

Smoking and Tobacco Products

Cigars, cigarettes, and chewing tobacco can all lead to serious health issues, such as lung disease, heart disease, and an increased risk of cancer. In addition, tobacco products will make gum disease and gum recession more likely.

Consider this yet another great excuse to quit for good. We can help direct you to resources that make quitting a reality.

Poor Diet and Nutrition

If you snack on sugary junk food, drink too much soda, and lack essential vitamins and minerals, your smile and your general health will suffer. Gum disease, bleeding gums, and gum recession are likely to occur.

Be sure to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet that's rich with fresh fruits and vegetables. Avoid junk food and candy, and try to stay hydrated with water rather than soft drinks or fruit juice.

Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)

Teeth grinding refers to the clenching and shifting of the teeth when a person sleeps. This constant pressure on the teeth can lead to chips and cracks as well as gum recession and other issues.

There are many different causes of teeth grinding, so it's important that you seek professional help should you notice any warning signs of the condition.

Genetics and Family History

Some people simply have a genetic predisposition that leads to more serious problems with gum disease and/or tooth decay. The best thing a person can do in these situations is practice very good oral hygiene and visit their dentist for regular checkups and cleanings.

Diabetes

People who suffer from diabetes are more likely to experience serious health problems over time, including poor vision, heart disease, and nerve damage. Diabetics are also more likely to experience dental health problems that impact the teeth and gums.

If you are a diabetic, be sure to monitor your blood sugar and follow your doctor's orders carefully.

Changes in Hormones

Hormonal changes, particularly in puberty and during pregnancy, lead to an increased risk of gum disease. The best way to deal with these issues is to practice good oral hygiene.

Learn How to Improve Your Periodontal Health

If you would like to learn more about improving the health of your gums, be sure to contact an experienced cosmetic and restorative dentist today. Our team looks forward to your visit and discussing these issues in much greater detail.

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