Oral Health: Critical Risk Factors

Risk Factors
Nutrition is one of the key areas to focus on while trying to improve one’s oral health. However, there are a number of other factors that can influence gum disease, tooth decay, or worse. If nutrition is not an area of concern, focus on any of the following possible risk factors.


Although the effects of smoking were not fully aware in the past, we now know that smoking is a destructive habit. Not only does it threaten one’s oral health, but it can create a vast array of health problems. Considering the health issues related to smoking are 100% preventable, it is important that you take these risks seriously.

The smoke that is inhaled from cigarettes or pipes creates a destructive path. The chemicals and smoke itself attack whatever tissue it comes into contact with. Starting within your mouth; your tongue, gums, and teeth are affected next. Then, the smoke continues to pass through your throat, esophagus, lungs, stomach, and various other areas before reaching organs such as the kidneys and bladder.

Since the effects of smoking are preventable, it is essential that this concern is addressed. Understanding the hazards associated with tobacco use may not only save your teeth, but your life. It is important to try and quit smoking if you are a current smoker.

Depending on the duration of one’s smoking habits, they may experience anything from discolored teeth to oral cancer. One of the key signs will be gum disease. This is due to tobacco’s ability to restrict blood flow, reducing the level of oxygen and nutrients.

Being Overweight

If an individual is overweight, he or she would benefit from changes to lifestyle. Not only should nutrition be addressed, but physical exercise as well. It is no secret that obesity is linked to a number of diseases, but researchers have linked this epidemic to gum disease.

Overweight individuals often suffer from inflammation throughout their body. Since this typically restricts blood flow, gum tissue suffers. When blood flow is restricted, there is a lack of vital nutrients being transported to various parts of the body (including your mouth). This can result in gum disease.

Chronic Stress

Although some stress is normal, chronic stress is destructive to one’s health. When you are consistently under stress, you increase your risk of both oral diseases and cardiovascular disease. When someone is under high levels of stress, their cortisol increases. This is the hormone that is associated with stress, suppressing the immune system. This allows bacteria to develop in the mouth, increasing one’s risk of oral health complications.

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