Smoking and tobacco use
Most people know that tobacco use is linked with many serious illnesses such as lung cancer and heart disease. But many people don’t realise that smokers are also at a higher risk of gum disease. This is because smoking slows down the delivery of blood to the gums, thereby increasing bacterial plaque. In fact, recent studies have shown that tobacco use may be one of the most significant risk factors in the development and progression of periodontal disease.
People with diabetes are generally at higher risk of developing infections, including gum disease. These infections can make it more difficult for your body to process and use insulin. This may make your diabetes harder to control and cause your infection to affect you more severely. If you are diabetic, it is important that your gums are checked regularly by a dental hygienist and any infections treated as soon as possible. People with diabetes may be six times more likely to develop periodontal disease.
Women may suffer with periodontal disease more than men simply because of the hormonal fluctuations they experience during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy and the menopause. These hormonal changes make your gums more sensitive and therefore more susceptible to periodontal diseases, so you should take extra care of your oral health at these times.