Factors That Increase the Risk of Gum Disease | Waldorf MD Periodontist

Gum disease can affect anyone. Nearly half of all American adults suffer from some form of it, according to a recent CDC study. Gum disease can be caused by a variety of factors. These factors are likely to lead to more serious periodontitis in individuals who already have the condition, compromising their overall oral health and possibly requiring dental treatment. The following are some of these factors:


In recent years, genetics have been shown to play a significant role in determining whether or not a person will develop gum disease in their lifetime. They may have weaker gum tissue due to their genetic makeup, making them more susceptible to plaque, tartar, and recession. 


Bruxism occurs when people clench or grind their teeth either during the day or while asleep at night. As a result of the condition, the gums may recede, which places significant stress on the tissue surrounding the teeth. 

The aging process

According to research, individuals aged 65 and older are much more likely to suffer from gum disease. According to the CDC, 70 percent of Americans in that age group suffer from periodontitis. 

Nutritional deficiencies 

Choosing the right vitamins and nutrients can positively influence the health of your gums. Carrots, apples, and celery trigger the type of chewing motion that massages the gums and produces healthy saliva.

Dry mouth

It is common for people to experience dry mouth for a variety of reasons, including prescription medications, nicotine use, and certain health conditions. The condition of dry mouth, regardless of its cause, is harmful to the gums. A significant portion of the harmful bacteria living inside our mouths is washed away by saliva. The bacteria in our mouths rapidly accumulate if we do not wash them regularly with saliva.


Stress has been linked to a number of serious health conditions, including hypertension, cancer, and many others. Periodontal disease is also associated with stress. According to research, stress can make it more difficult for the body to fight infections, including periodontal diseases.

Smoking/Tobacco Use

Many serious health problems are linked to tobacco use, including cancer, lung disease, and heart disease. Tobacco users are also more likely to develop periodontal disease. Tobacco use has been shown to be a significant risk factor for periodontal disease development and progression.

Despite the fact that this list is far from complete, it may serve as a useful starting point for you. It is always advisable to consult your doctor about your oral health and how to best protect yourself, regardless of whether or not you have any of these risk factors. Do not forget to keep your regularly scheduled appointments with our Waldorf MD Periodontist, and feel free to contact Karl A. Smith DDS, LLC at any time.

Karl A. Smith, DDS, MS
Phone: (703) 894-4867
2500 N. Van Dorn St., Suite 128
Alexandria, VA 22302

Brushing and Flossing are Beneficial to Your Overall Health | Alexandria VA Periodontist

Brushing and flossing are not only beneficial for maintaining a healthy mouth and a bright smile. In fact, there are many benefits for your entire body as well. Let’s take a look at how brushing your teeth can keep you healthy from head to toe.

There are a number of ways in which brushing and flossing can help you lose weight. Your oral health, for example, can reduce your risk of diabetes and increase the likelihood that you will maintain a healthy and nutritious diet. It is difficult to eat well when your mouth is experiencing pain as a result of poor health. In addition, brushing serves as a natural signal to your brain that you have finished eating. Additionally, brushing can burn up to 3,500 calories per year. A little bit goes a long way.

For mothers, oral health is critical not only for themselves but also for their children. There is an increased risk of premature births and low birth weights for women who suffer from chronic gum disease. Pregnant women not only eat for two but also brush and floss for two.

It is also important to brush and floss your teeth regularly to maintain healthy gums. In recent studies, gum disease has been linked to cognitive dysfunction and even Alzheimer’s disease. A patient’s lifetime health and cognitive function are impacted by gingivitis.

If you suffer from bad breath, you have probably already tried some of the common remedies. Although brushing your teeth two or three times a day and using mouthwash can certainly help, the strongest smell is caused by the buildup of tartar. Brushing your teeth can remove tartar from your teeth, but flossing can help remove tartar from your gums and between your teeth. Most people with bad breath will notice improvements in their breath after flossing regularly for a week.

Poor dental hygiene allows bacteria to flourish in your mouth, for better or for worse. Even though many bacteria are beneficial for your health and essential to your well-being, this is not the case for all of them. 

The bacteria present in your mouth can cause diseases throughout your body, including the lungs and even the brain. Bacteria, both beneficial and potentially harmful, are easily inhaled into the lungs with salivary particles. The bacteria that originate in your mouth can cause lung conditions such as bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pneumonia, and emphysema.

Despite the fact that brushing your teeth will not replace regular exercise or a healthy diet anytime soon, it can have a significant impact on your overall health. Be diligent in your brushing regimen and schedule your next appointment with our Alexandria Periodontist as soon as possible to achieve the most effective results. Contact Karl A. Smith DDS, LLC.

Karl A. Smith, DDS Periodontics & Implants of Alexandria
Phone: (703) 894-4867
2500 N. Van Dorn St., Suite 128
Alexandria, VA 22302
Karl A. Smith, DDS Periodontics & Implants of Waldorf
Phone: (301) 638-4867
601 Post Office Rd., Suite 1-B
Waldorf, MD 20602