Common Risk Factors of Periodontal Disease

Risk Factors of Periodontal Disease

You may already know that good oral hygiene and regular visits to your dentist in Issaquah can help keep your teeth healthy. However, did you realize that flossing and brushing also protect your mouth from periodontal or gum disease, a condition that can affect your dental and overall health? Continue reading to learn about common risk factors associated with this condition.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 70% of Americans age 65 and older suffer from periodontal disease, and studies show that older individuals have the highest rates of this condition.

Teeth Grinding

If you are someone that clenches or grinds your teeth at night, then this habit may be putting you at greater risk of gum disease, due to the excess force placed on the supportive tissues in your mouth. Consider asking your dentist about using a nightguard to protect your teeth and gums.

Tobacco Use

Smoking and tobacco use have been connected to a wide range of serious illnesses, such as heart disease, cancer, and lung disease. It’s also been found that tobacco users are more at risk for gum disease. Additionally, tobacco use may be one of the greatest risk factors when it comes to the development and progression of this oral health problem.


Like with tobacco use, suffering from chronic stress has been linked to many health conditions, including cancer and hypertension. Additionally, stress has been identified as a risk factor for periodontal disease. The reason for this, according to research, is that stress makes it more challenging for the body to ward off infection.


Some drugs, such as certain heart medicines, contraceptives, and anti-depressants, can have side effects that affect your oral health and may increase your risk of gum disease. Notify your health care provider and dentist of all medications that you are taking.

Other Diseases

Systemic conditions that affect the body’s inflammatory system, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and rheumatoid arthritis, can worsen the state of the gums and increase a person’s risk of periodontal disease.