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Alabama Family Dentistry | 7 Behaviors that Put Your Gums at Risk

7 Behaviors that Put Your Gums at Risk

photo of young woman holding her jaw | Alabama Family Dentistry

7 Behaviors that Put Your Gums at Risk

Posted by Alabama Family Dentistry in Preventive Dental Care 15 Apr 2017

Although you practice good dental care such as brushing after every meal, flossing and visiting your dentist regularly, there are certain behaviors that can put your gums at risk. In fact, according to WebMD there are some dental habits that can be quite harmful.

Eating Certain Foods

Many specialists agree that foods high in sugar can trigger cavities and contribute to the accumulation of plaque. Moreover, sweets can also cause certain diseases such as gingivitis. In addition, acidic foods and drinks provide the ideal environment for bacteria and other pathogenic microorganisms. Bacteria can cause disease, inflammation and receding gums.

Cold foods and drinks should also be avoided. If you have receding gums, exposed nerves that support your teeth can be very sensitive to cold. Chewing on ice is a common habit that can play havoc with your gums. When you chew on ice or other hard foods, it can loosen your teeth, especially with receding gums.


If you smoke, you might want to consider stopping soon. Not only is smoking linked to cancer and other health issues but it can also cause gum disease. As well, smoking can make any gum conditions worse. Moreover, rendering to WebMD, smoking is linked to increased risk of leukoplakia (white patches inside the mouth), inflammation of the salivary gland openings on the roof of the mouth, increased loss of bone within the jaw, greater healing time after periodontal treatment or oral surgery, and reduced success rate of dental implant procedures and higher risk of developing oral cancer.

Lack of Stress Management

Stress is known to cause a variety of serious health concerns like cancer, hypertension and other issues. In addition, there is a greater risk for periodontal disease when the body is stressed. In fact, under stress the body releases cortisol (a hormone that can worsen gum disease). As well, when you are stressed, you are more apt to be careless with your health.

Grinding Your Teeth and Gums

Regardless of when and how often you grind your teeth, it wears them down and causes bleeding of the gums. In addition, grinding can cause fillings to break and lead to nerve damage over time. Plus when there is pressure put on the gum lines it can cause them to recede. And with the continual back and forth motion (bruxing), teeth come loose and gum pockets form.

Lack of Exercise

More and more, studies show that exercise can do wonders for your health as well as your gums. In fact, research shows that overall fitness and maintaining your weight plays a big factor in healthy gums. Conferring to a study at the Bastyr Center for Natural Health, rigorous exercise 3 times a week or moderate activities 5 times a week can lower your risk of gum disease by 50%. Researchers believe this is because exercise regulates glucose levels.

Frequent Brushing

Your gums and jawbone are imperative for nourishing and supporting your teeth. Likewise, good oral health starts with clean teeth. To prevent gum disease you need to clean the area where your gums and teeth meet. As well, don’t forget to brush at least two times a day to prevent gum disease.

Lack of Dental Care

Like your teeth, gums need careful attention to keep them healthy and free of bacteria. At home you can do deep cleaning to help prevent gum disease. Specialists also agree that regular dental check-ups are a great defense against gum issues. Dentists have several techniques that are helpful such as:

Scaling – scraping off tarter below and above the gum line
Root planing – irregular surfaces of the roots of your teeth are smoothed out

Alabama Family Dentistry

If you suspect that you have any type of gum disease, it is best to visit a dentist as soon as possible. At Alabama Family Dentistry we are dedicated in using the latest technology in dental care, prevention, restoration and cosmetic dentistry. Our very experienced family dentists can assist you with any questions or concerns questions about gum health. Plus you can be certain that you will get the best and most advanced treatment available. In fact, our general and cosmetic dentists have been providing exceptional dental care since 1998.

For your convenience, Alabama Family Dentistry has four locations in the Birmingham area – Acton Road Family Dentistry, Gardendale Family Dentistry, Warrior Family Dentistry and Sumitron Family Dentistry.

Note: This article is not intended to take the place of professional medical advice. Please contact a specialist if you have any concerns or questions.

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