How Can I Prevent Periodontitis?

When you are affected by periodontal disease you risk concerns that may affect your overall health. Today, our Red Deer dentists explain what periodontitis is and what you can do to prevent this serious condition.

Periodontitis & How It Develops

While the symptoms and disease itself may develop slowly, periodontitis should be taken very seriously. The early stages of periodontitis are referred to as gingivitis and it can easily evolve to an advanced stage before you become aware of any problems due to the lack of pain early on.

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.

Tooth loss is a large concern once the disease becomes advanced as it can affect the bone structure of your mouth. In fact, gum disease is one of the most common causes of tooth loss in adults.

Keeping up with regular dental hygiene appointments and a rigorous at-home oral hygiene routine will go a long way in maintaining your oral health. 

The Ways To Help Prevent Periodontitis

Here are some of the other ways that you can help minimize the risk of periodontitis:

Check your prescriptions. Certain medications can contribute to and aggravate gum disease, including antidepressants, heart medicines and oral contraceptives.

Get more vitamins A and C. These are part of a healthy diet that can help prevent periodontitis. Conversely, cut sugary and starchy foods, which allow plaque to build.

Visit the dentist when symptoms occur. Correct dental problems or oral health issues such as teeth grinding, or 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 during your oral hygiene routine. 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 dental products with added fluoride. This key ingredient removes the buildup of plaque bacteria along the gum line without irritating gums.

Quit smoking or don't start. 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.

Become aware of your lifestyle and genetic 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.

See if your dentist offers treatment for gum disease. The earlier your dentist can detect periodontitis (if you do get it), the better. It is much easier to treat early forms of gum disease than to tackle a larger problem later. Depending on how far the disease has progressed and its severity, there are surgical and non-surgical options for treatment. 

Keep up with routine oral hygiene. Reducing your personal risk factors will go a long way in the fight to prevent gum disease. Our gums are as important as our teeth when it comes to our oral health, so it’s important not to neglect them.

Do you have dental pain or discomfort? Bleeding gums? Contact our Red Deer dentists to request an appointment today.

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