Preventing Gum Disease
What Is Periodontal Gum Disease?
Adults over the age of 35 lose more teeth to gum diseases than from cavities. At least three out of four adults are affected at some time in their life. The best way to prevent cavities and periodontal diseases is by daily thorough tooth brushing and flossing techniques and regular professional examinations and cleanings. Unfortunately, even with the most diligent home dental care, people can still develop some form of periodontal disease. Once this disease starts, professional intervention is necessary to prevent its progress.
Other important factors that can negatively affect the health of your gums include: tobacco usage, stress, clenching and grinding teeth, some medications, and poor nutrition.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF PERIODONTAL DISEASE?
- Red, swollen, sore gums
- Gums that bleed when brushing and flossing
- Teeth that appear longer or become loose
- Large spaces that form between the teeth
- Gums that begin to pull away from the teeth
- Chronic bad breath
Periodontal disease, if left untreated, can contribute to other health problems including heart disease and diabetes. If you’re pregnant, having periodontal disease is also linked to premature birth or low birth weight. Your smile’s health affects the overall health of your body.
Periodontal Disease & Tobacco
You are probably familiar with the links between tobacco use and lung disease, cancer, and heart disease. Current studies have now also linked periodontal disease with tobacco usage. Cases of periodontal disease are more severe in smokers and tobacco-users than those who do not use tobacco. There is a greater incidence of calculus formation on teeth, deeper pockets between gums and teeth, and a greater loss of the bone and fibers that hold teeth in your mouth. In addition, your chance of developing oral cancer increases with the use of smokeless tobacco.
Chemicals in tobacco such as nicotine and tar also slow down healing and the predictability of success following periodontal treatment. Quitting smoking and tobacco-use can have innumerous benefits for your overall and periodontal health.
IS PERIODONTAL DISEASE TREATABLE?
Gum disease is both preventable and treatable. Today’s periodontal treatments provide you with a variety of options that are gentle, safe, and effective. If you have been diagnosed with gingivitis or gum disease, your periodontist can help you determine what treatment best meets your needs.