What increases my risk for periodontitis?

Your risk for periodontitis is very high if you do not practice regular daily oral hygiene. Additionally, sometimes heredity plays a part; some people will develop periodontitis much earlier in life, just because they are genetically prone to it. Some illnesses that cause low immunity, such as AIDS or leukemia, as well as diabetes, can also increase your risk for periodontitis.

Your risk for periodontal disease increases if you engage in the following activities:
  • Cigarette smoking. Smoking causes tartar (or calculus) that hardens on the teeth. A dental hygienist can clean the tartar off the teeth, but it's much healthier to stop smoking.
  • Poor oral hygiene habits. Brush and floss regularly to remove all of the sticky plaque on the teeth, which can cause bacteria to form.
  • A diet that's high in sugar and/or acid. Bacteria in the mouth thrive in sugar and acidic environments.
  • Poorly fitting crowns or fillings that give bacteria places to hide.
  • Wisdom teeth may offer bacteria another breeding ground. Ask your dentist if you have your wisdom teeth and discuss your options.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.