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The first step to preventing periodontal gum disease is knowing what your greatest risk factors are. If you know what causes gum disease, you have a much better chance at fighting it and preventing it completely. Periodontal gum disease happens when bacteria in your mouth begin to attack the healthy tissue around your teeth. If left untreated, the loss of tissue can lead to tooth loss.

To prevent gum disease, it is important to know that there are risks that must be combated with proper oral health care, such as daily brushing and flossing. These risks include the following:

Poor Diet: Lack of proper nutrition can increase your risk of gum disease.

Chewing Tobacco: Tobacco increases the risk of gum disease.

Smoking: Smoking is considered by many dentists as one of the most significant risk factors for gum disease. Smoking also decreases treatment success rates.

Diabetes: Diabetes increases the risk for many infectious diseases, including gum disease.

Medications: Many medications produce a side effect of dry mouth symptoms. The lack of saliva in a person’s mouth makes them more susceptible to gum disease.

Hormones: As hormones change in women and young girls, it increases the chances for gingivitis to develop, which can lead to more serious types of gum disease.

Genetics: Genetics play a large role in the development of gum disease. Genetics can make individuals up to six times more likely to have symptoms of the disease.

Even for those severely at risk for gum disease, it can be prevented with the proper treatment. If you would like to come in for an oral exam, we invite you to make an appointment with Dr. Douglas Wheelock. You can reach our Wheelock & Bursick Dentistry team in Sioux City, Iowa by calling 712-274-2038.