Gum disease is a harmful condition that affects many adults, whether the damage is mild or severe. Gum disease, or Periodontitis as it’s formally known, is an infection of the soft tissue in the gums that surrounds the teeth. Research shows a link between gum disease and other health concerns including heart disease, pneumonia and stroke. Individuals with diabetes might face additional complications with periodontitis in both a cause and effect sequence. High blood sugar levels – as seen in patients with diabetes – aggravates and advances gum disease, while the inflammation from gum disease can disrupt the body’s ability to regulate insulin production.
No matter your current health profile, avoiding periodontitis is key. Follow these three simple tips to prevent gum disease and protect your wellbeing.
Remember when you were a kid and you ran your toothbrush under the faucet to “trick” your parents into believing you actually brushed? You might have gotten away with it a few times, but failing to brush your teeth as an adult isn’t doing you any favors. Brushing helps eliminate harmful bacteria from the mouth to minimize your risk of gum disease. For parents, make sure the little ones are adopting these healthy habits early on to make for an easier, more routine adulthood.
Tip from the Pros: If you notice bleeding while brushing or flossing, you may already have periodontitis. Fortunately, you can minimize the damage by adopting a regular cleaning routine. Schedule an appointment with a dentist for a more in-depth look at your oral health.
Eliminate Risk Factors
Smoking, poor nutrition and substance abuse have the potential to cause and complicate periodontitis. Certain risk factors, like a chronic illness, genetics and age, can’t be eradicated to lessen gum disease risk, but taking control of the factors you have the power change is the first step. Stop smoking and start taking your diet seriously. Further, if you do have a substance abuse problem, visit a therapist who can formally diagnose your condition to discuss outpatient or inpatient treatment plans. While you may be relatively healthy, stress is also linked to periodontitis, so taking time to relax and decompress is essential for everyone.
Schedule Consistent Cleanings
We recommend at least two yearly professional cleanings in order to keep your mouth sparkling and strong even if you don’t already suffer from gum disease or another dental condition. Cleanings help prevent cavities by removing the plaque more aggressively than you do at home while brushing and flossing. Polishing the teeth also results in a brighter smile for a more confident appearance. And because oral health is linked to your overall well being, regular deep cleanings of your teeth and gums keeps your body at its best.
Tip from the Pros: Schedule each follow-up while you’re already in the office so you don’t forget in six months’ time.
Seaport Family Dentistry can help you minimize your risk for periodontitis and treat sore, swollen or inflamed gums. We take a holistic and non-toxic approach to dentistry, allowing patients to learn, maintain and handle oral conditions like gum disease without the harmful side effects. To schedule a consultation, call us at (816) 781-1430.