Periodontal disease can have a negative impact on not just your, but your oral health and physical well-being as well. Today, our Winnipeg dentists discuss periodontitis and share some advice on how you can prevent it.
Periodontitis (Gum Disease)
Gum disease, also known as periodontitis, is a condition that gradually affects your gums. It begins as gingivitis, which is painless in its early stages, making it difficult to detect until it has progressed significantly.
Plaque builds up on your teeth and gum line, eventually hardening into tartar or calculus. This leads to the formation of pockets between your teeth and irritated gums, which can harbour bacteria and cause other health problems such as cardiovascular disease.
Only a dentist can remove hardened plaque. If left untreated, periodontitis can cause bone loss, gum deterioration, and even tooth loss. Maintaining good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing daily and attending regular dental appointments is essential for preventing and managing gum disease.
How You Can Help Prevent Periodontitis
Here are some lesser-known tips that may assist in preventing gum disease or minimizing the likelihood of developing it. Consider the following suggestions:
Take inventory of your medications. It's important to be aware that certain medications, such as antidepressants, heart medicines, and oral contraceptives, can potentially contribute to and worsen gum disease.
Increase your consumption of vitamins A and C, which are part of a healthy diet that can help prevent periodontitis. Conversely, cut sugary and starchy foods, which allow plaque to build.
Treat dental issues quickly. If you have dental problems or issues with your oral health, such as teeth grinding, or misaligned or crowded teeth, it's important to take corrective action. When teeth aren't properly spaced, they can be more difficult to clean effectively, which can lead to the growth and spread of harmful plaque.
Gently 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 essential component effectively eliminates the accumulation of plaque bacteria along the gum line, while being gentle on the gums and causing no irritation.
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.
Know your risks. 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.
Bonus: Ask your dentist about periodontal disease treatment. In case you contract it, it is advisable to get periodontitis detected by your dentist as early as possible. Early detection is more beneficial as gum disease is easier to treat in its initial stages than when it has progressed to the extent of tooth or jaw bone tissue loss. The treatment options vary depending on the progress and severity of the disease, ranging from non-surgical to surgical methods.
Regular oral hygiene -Taking proactive steps to decrease your personal risk factors can greatly aid in the prevention of gum disease. Our gums are equally vital to our oral health as our teeth, and therefore, we must not overlook their care.