Beyond Oral Hygiene: Why You May Have A High Risk For Periodontal Disease

You have been told time and again that you need to brush and floss your teeth daily to prevent periodontal disease. This is useful information because poor oral hygiene is the main cause of gum disease. However, there are other factors that heighten your risk of developing this oral condition, and they include:

Genetic Predisposition

Some people have genes that make them more susceptible to gum disease than others. If you are such a person, then you may develop gum disease even if you observe a reasonable level of oral hygiene. This doesn't mean that you have to give up on oral hygiene measure; doing so will only increase your likelihood of developing periodontal disease.

Genetics is a contributing factor because, among other things, it determines:

  • The strength of your immune system
  • Saliva composition
  • Nature of grooves in your teeth
  • Teeth alignment

These are all things that determine your probability of developing gum disease.


There is also some evidence showing that stress can lead to or increase the severity of periodontal disease. One reason for this is that stress weakens your immune system and makes your body more susceptible to bacterial attacks, including oral bacteria that cause gum disease. Another reason is that the body produces the hormone cortisol, which stimulates increased protein production by the cells and may worsen gum inflammation.

Poor Nutrition

Even the food you eat has a part to play on whether or not you develop gum disease. You need to eat a balanced diet so that you get the nutrients necessary to maintain a strong immune system and re-mineralize the teeth. Some of the nutrients you should not miss out on (as far as dental health is concerned) include calcium, vitamin C and vitamin D. There are also foods that damage your teeth and make them more susceptible to bacterial attack; sugary and acidic foods are good examples.

Systematic Diseases

You should also know that some systematic diseases can also worsen your gum disease. The culprits are diseases that elicit inflammatory responses from the body; examples include diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. The more your gums swell, the more your periodontal disease may worsen.

These risk factors are some of the reasons doctors and dentists should, and do, collaborate on health issues. They are also the reason you should inform your dentist on other health issues you are dealing with. Your dentist will know what to do to mitigate the effects of these factors on your dental health and help you prevent or treat gum disease.

For more information, contact Randolph Dental Group or a similar organization.