Are You At Risk?
Anyone can get gum disease, but there are other things that play a role in raising your chances of getting it. These include:
- Not taking care of your teeth and gums. This includes not brushing twice a day and flossing every day.
- Using tobacco of any kind. You are more likely to have gum disease if you smoke, chew or dip tobacco.
- Diseases that affect the whole body- such as HIV infection and diabetes- lower your body’s ability to fight infections, including gum disease.
- Many Medications, such as steroids and blood pressure drugs, can affect your gums. Some have side effects that lower the amount of saliva your mouth makes. This can affect soft tissues like your gums and make cavities more likely.
- Pregnancy, use of birth control pills, or changes in female hormone levels. These can cause gums to become more sensitive to plaque bacteria.
- Family history. If your parents wear dentures or if you have a family history of tooth loss, be on the alert and pay close attention to changes in your gums.
- The bacteria that causes gum disease may be passed from parents to children and between partners through saliva. This includes kissing or sharing toothbrushes and utensils.