Periodontal disease is often referred to as a silent condition. This is because it is usually painless and slow to progress. This means that it can easily reach an advanced stage before you notice any problems. Unfortunately, this is bad news for your oral health. Although the early effects of periodontal disease are mild and simple to ignore, if the condition is allowed to progress, it can have serious consequences for your smile and your general health.
Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria from plaque which causes inflammation and infection of the soft tissue of the gums. If untreated, the infection can destroy the structures that support your teeth in your jawbone. This includes the gum, connective tissues and bone itself. Eventually, the teeth can become so loose that they fall out of their own accord or have to be extracted. However, this isn’t the only problem faced by patients with periodontal disease.
In recent years, poor gum health has been linked to other issues affecting the wider body. There is believed to be a connection between periodontal disease and the development of conditions including:
High blood pressure
Other conditions caused by inflammation
Fortunately, periodontal disease doesn’t have to be a foregone conclusion. Here are our top tips for preventing it.
Brush Your Teeth Properly
Although we all know the importance of brushing our teeth, many of us cut this habit short when we are busy or tired. It can also be difficult to track how long we have brushed for without a watch. Nevertheless, one of the best ways to protect yourself against periodontal disease is to make sure that you brush for at least 2-3 minutes twice every day. Use a soft-bristled brush to prevent damage to the gums and opt for fluoride toothpaste.
Flossing is something that many of us are guilty of overlooking and not doing as often as ideal. However, flossing is the only way of removing plaque from those hard to reach places between the teeth so making time to do it every day, ideally, before you go to bed, is important.
Although not advocated by all dentists, mouthwashes have been shown to reduce plaque by up to 20% as it washes any traces away after brushing. Be sure to remember that mouthwash should be used in addition to, not instead of, brushing and flossing.
Smoking has been proven to dramatically increase your risk of developing periodontal disease, as well as have a generally bad effect on your dental and general health.
Eat a Healthy, Balanced Diet
Eating a diet that is heavy in starch and sugar could increase the amount of plaque that you experience. However, a healthy, balanced diet that contains plenty of nutrients, and particularly Vitamins A & C, has been shown to boost oral health and prevent gum disease.
See Your Dentist Regularly
Your dentist has the training and experience needed to identify the early signs of gum disease so that it can be treated and reversed before it causes any long-term damage to your teeth or your oral/general health.
For more top tips on preventing periodontal disease, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experienced dental team today by calling our offices in Brooklyn, NY.