6 Reasons You Are at Risk from Tooth Decay
Most people understand how important it is to visit the dentist regularly. We have this drummed into us on a regular basis, usually from a young age. Oral healthcare is very important and brushing teeth twice a day is a big part of this. Taking care of your teeth will help to keep plaque to a minimum and gum disease at bay. Unfortunately, however, there are many reasons why you could still be at risk from tooth decay – and here are six of them.
You are Stressed
Stress affects the immune system. Over time, exposure to chronic stress weakens our immune system, which can make it hard for the body to fight infection. Gum disease is an infection like any other, so if you are continually stressed, any underlying gum disease will worsen and be harder to treat.
You Like Citrus Fruits
Oranges, lemons and limes are full of vitamin C and are therefore good for us. Adding a slice of lemon to a cup of boiling water is a refreshing drink and it is good for the liver. Unfortunately, however, citrus fruits are very acidic and in time will eat away our tooth enamel. This allows bacteria to attack the teeth and cause tooth decay.
You Have an Inflammatory Disease
Anyone with an inflammatory disease such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is at greater risk of periodontal disease. If you take good care of your teeth and avoid eating the wrong foods, you should be OK, but if you do develop gum disease, it is likely to be more severe.
You Are Pregnant
Pregnancy causes changes in hormone levels, which can lead to changes in the mouth. In time, this will affect teeth and gums, leading to a greater risk of cavities and periodontal disease. For this reason, pregnant women should always have regular dental checkups to assess the health of their teeth and gums.
The more you smoke, the higher your risk of gum disease and teeth problems. Smoking is bad for the health on a number of levels, but smokers tend to have a greater buildup of tartar on their teeth, more severe periodontal disease, and if the disease progresses to the jawbone, bone loss will be more severe. The good news is that quitting smoking will definitely help to reverse some of the damage caused.
You Are Genetically Predisposed
Some people are more likely to suffer from gum disease than others are. If your parents suffered from periodontitis and lost teeth at an early age, you are more likely to have problems with your teeth and gums. This, combined with other risk factors such as poor diet and a lack of dental care from an early age, means you are a high-risk case. Despite this, you can lower your risk by improving your oral care and making regular appointments to see your dentist and dental hygienist.
With the right care, we can maintain our teeth well into old age, so make sure you look after your teeth and have them checked for problems at least twice a year.