Risk factors, complications of periodontitis (part 3)

Published : 28 Aug 2022 08:35 PM

• Gingivitis

• Poor oral health habits

• Smoking or chewing tobacco

• Hormonal changes, such as those related to pregnancy or menopause

• Recreational drug use, such as smoking marijuana or vaping

• Obesity

• Inadequate nutrition, including vitamin C deficiency

• Genetics

• Certain medications that cause dry mouth or gum changes

• Conditions that cause decreased immunity, such as leukemia, HIV/AIDS and cancer treatment

• Certain diseases, such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease

Complications: Periodontitis can cause tooth loss. The bacteria responsible for periodontitis can enter your bloodstream through gum tissue, possibly affecting other parts of your body. For example, periodontitis is linked with respiratory disease, rheumatoid arthritis, coronary artery disease and problems controlling blood sugar in diabetes.

Prevention: The best way to prevent periodontitis is to follow a program of good oral hygiene, one that you begin early and practice consistently throughout life.

• Good oral hygiene: That means brushing your teeth for two minutes at least twice daily — in the morning and before going to bed — and flossing at least once a day. Flossing before you brush allows you to clean away the loosened food particles and bacteria. Good oral hygiene prevents the development of an environment around your teeth that is favorable to specific bacteria that cause periodontal disease.

• Regular dental visits: See your dentist or dental hygienist regularly for cleanings, usually every six to 12 months. If you have risk factors that increase your chance of developing periodontitis — such as having dry mouth, taking certain medications or smoking — you may need professional cleaning more often.

    Courtesy: Mayo Clinic