If you suffer from dental concerns it doesn't just stop at your teeth. These can develop complications which can affect your overall health. Today, our Oakville dentists offer some information about periodontitis and advice on how you can prevent gum disease from happening.
The Effects of Periodontitis
Periodontitis (gum disease) is a progressive condition that gradually invades your gums. This condition can be tough to diagnose early as it may not present any signs including pain until much later.
Plaque collects on your teeth and along the gum line, then hardens into a rough, porous deposit referred to as tartar or calculus. Pockets form between the teeth and irritated gums, and bacteria collect here, which can lead to other health problems such as cardiovascular disease. Once hardened, only your dentist will have the tools to remove plaque.
Unfortunately, if periodontitis is left untreated it can lead to serious infections as well as potential bone and tooth loss. Gum disease is the most common cause of tooth loss in adults in Canada.
This makes thorough brushing and flossing on a daily basis along with regular dental hygiene appointments the key for prevention – and for maintaining your oral health.
How can gum disease be prevented?
Some of the things you can do to help prevent gum disease include:
Monitoring medications. Certain medications can contribute to and aggravate gum disease, including antidepressants, heart medicines and oral contraceptives.
Increase vitamins A & C. These are part of a healthy diet that can help prevent periodontitis. Conversely, cut sugary and starchy foods, which allow plaque to build.
Contact your dentist. Correct dental problems or oral health issues such as teeth grinding, and misaligned or crowded teeth. It can be more challenging to properly clean teeth that aren’t properly spaced, thus providing room for plaque to grow and thrive.
Massage your gums. Along with brushing and flossing regularly (at least twice a day for two minutes each time for brushing, and once daily for thorough flossing), show your gums some love by gently massaging them, which increases blood flow to the tissue.
Use fluoride toothpaste. This key ingredient removes the buildup of plaque bacteria along the gum line without irritating gums.
Quit smoking. Smoking is not only strongly associated with the onset of gum disease, but it also makes it more difficult for your gums to heal once they’re damaged, as smoking weakens the immune system.
Watch for risk factors. Whether genetics, diet, age, smoking or other factors make you more susceptible to periodontitis, knowledge is power when it comes to reducing your risk and staying healthy.
Seek gum disease treatment The earlier your dentist can detect periodontitis (if you do get it), the better. That's because it's easier to treat gum disease in its earlier stages than when it has advanced to the point that you start to lose teeth or jaw bone tissue. Depending on how far the disease has progressed and its severity, there are surgical and non-surgical options for treatment.
Caring for your oral hygiene is the easiest way that you can help prevent gum disease and other serious dental health concerns. Our gums are as important as our teeth when it comes to our oral health, so it’s important not to neglect them.