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Risk Factors for Long-Term Dental Problems

Dental hygienist showing patient proper oral hygiene techniques Taking care of your mouth is essential for preventing a variety of different oral health issues. The ADA recommends brushing and flossing daily, as well as twice-yearly dental cleanings and exams. Following these instructions is crucial for optimal oral health. However, there are certain risk factors that can contribute to long-term dental problems. Optimum Oral Surgery Group is here to help.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Oral hygiene is essential for protecting your mouth from a variety of different oral health complications, including cavities and gum disease. Ignoring your oral hygiene routine, even if this means occasionally skipping out on brushing or flossing, or ignoring your routine dental cleanings and exams, significantly increases your risk for developing oral health issues.

Ignoring Dental Issues

When oral health issues arise, it is important that you seek dental treatment right away. Most oral health complications do not go away on their own. If you ignore oral health issues, they often worsen over time, leading to more serious consequences. Small cavities or cracks in your teeth can lead to tooth infections that require root canals. Untreated gum disease can lead to tooth loss. Ignoring tooth loss leads to bone loss in the jaw, which alters its shape and the alignment of your remaining teeth. As your teeth become misaligned, you are then faced with a poor smile, potential damage, and poor digestion.

Tobacco Use

When you smoke or use other tobacco products, plaque is stickier. This allows bacteria to adhere to the surfaces of your teeth more easily. Accumulation of plaque and bacteria can lead to an increased risk for cavities and periodontal disease. Tobacco products can discolor your teeth. They also affect the ability of your body to fight off infections.


Alcohol consumption is another lifestyle habit that can contribute to long-term dental problems. Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to a condition known as dry mouth. When your mouth is dry, there is not enough saliva to kill and rinse away bacteria. Instead, your mouth becomes an ideal environment for bacterial growth.

Unmanaged Medical Conditions

Certain types of chronic medical conditions can affect your oral health. One of these chronic conditions is diabetes. When diabetes is uncontrolled, you may have an excess amount of sugar in your saliva, which provides food for oral bacteria. As a result, you are at an increased risk for cavities and periodontal disease. Uncontrolled diabetes also increases your risk for serious medical complications as well.

Certain Types of Medications

Certain types of medications, such as those for asthma or heart disease, can contribute to dry mouth. Again, dry mouth provides the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive. Even if you brush and floss your teeth regularly, you might still find that you are dealing with constant oral health complications.

Poor Nutrition

A healthy well-balanced diet is essential for your whole-body health, including your oral and dental health. If you have a poor diet, your body misses essential nutrients that are required for strong teeth and healthy gums. As a result, you are at a greater risk for developing dental issues.


When you are under constant stress, your blood pressure rises, and you are at an increased risk for developing serious health problems. Constant stress can also affect your immune system, and the ability of your body to effectively fight off infections. This can lead to small dental problems quickly becoming more severe dental problems.

While there are several factors that can increase your risk of experiencing long-term dental problems, there are ways to protect your oral health. For more information, and to schedule your appointment, call Optimum Oral Surgery Group today at (856) 437-4432.

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Risk Factors for Long-Term Dental Problems | Optimum Oral Surgery
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