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September is National Gum Care Month.

Periodontal (gum) disease often goes undiagnosed and untreated.

There are four main contributors to periodontal disease: smoking, diabetes, oral hygiene and genetic factors. This article dives into the relationships between each of these risk factors in order to make a unique plan to manage your oral hygiene.

Smokers are at twice the risk to acquire periodontal disease than non-smokers. Smoking also reduces the body’s ability to fight infection by weakening the immune system. Cessation programs can be implemented to help patients stop smoking such as gum, patches, and medications like Chantix.

Patients with diabetes have an increased rate of periodontal disease; similarly, patients with periodontal disease have an increased rate of diabetes. Controlling diabetes improves the long-term outlook for a periodontal patient, and receiving periodontal therapy can also improve your diabetes.

The genetic, or hereditary factor is the only risk factor that patients cannot control. Studies have shown that genetic factors may impair inflammatory and immune responses during periodontal diseases.

Proper oral hygiene is vital to prevent or stop periodontal disease in its tracks. Regular three-month cleanings, increasing in brushing, flossing, and routine visits to your dentist, are all vital to improve your oral health and ensure that your periodontal disease does not progress.

Written by Periodontist Dr. Zulema Pappaterra, of Fontainebleau Dentistry.

To find a Smile Generation®-trusted Dentist near you, visit Smile Generation’s website today!