Periodontal disease can negatively impact not only our oral health, but overall health too. Here, we define periodontitis and offer prevention tips.
What is periodontitis?
Periodontitis (also called gum disease) is a condition that gradually affects the gums. Since this condition is generally painless in its early stages, it can grow serious before any issues become apparent.
Plaque collects on your teeth and along your gum line, hardening into a hard deposit called tartar. Pockets of this material form between teeth and gums, collecting bacteria that may cause other health issues. Once it is hardened, your dentist will need special tools to remove tartar.
Once advanced, periodontitis may cause a loss of bone structure and gum deterioration. Gum disease is actually one of the most common causes of tooth loss in adults.
Because of this, removing plaque with a good oral hygiene routine is critical to maintaining your oral health.
How can I prevent periodontitis?
There are also some less obvious ways to combat gum disease and reduce the risk of getting it. You can:
Take inventory of medications. Some medications can contribute to periodontitis like oral contraceptives and heart medicines.
Increase your consumption of vitamins A and C. There are part of a healthy diet helping to prevent periodontitis.
Quickly treat dental issues. Address dealt issues like crowded teeth, grinding and more quickly. Teeth that aren't spaced properly are more difficult to clean, giving more room for plaque to build up.
Gently massage your gums. Show your gums some love in additon brushing and flossing. Massaging gums increases their blood flow.
Use fluoride toothpaste. The fluoride in toothpaste removes buildup of plaque without irritating gums.
Quit smoking. Smoking is associated with the development of periodontitis. It also makes healing from damage to gums more difficult.
Know your risks. Be aware of risks that make you susceptible to gum disease like genertics, age, diet smoking and more.
Ask your dentist about treatment. The earlier you detect periodontitis, the better. It's easier to treat gum disease in its early stages. A dentist can explain suitable treatments depending on the severity of your case.
Do you think you may have gum disease and are looking for treatment?
A dentist will be happy to assess your oral health and answer your questions about the health of your gums and other oral structures.