How Can I Prevent Gum Disease?
- Posted on: Mar 15 2019
If you’ve looked in the mirror lately and have been surprised by what you see on your teeth, it could be the beginnings of gum disease. Periodontitis is a serious infection that damages the gums and leads to depletion of the underlying bone that your teeth sit in. Periodontitis can even cause your teeth to loosen or, in worst cases, be lost altogether.
Sadly, periodontitis is common, but it is also preventable in many cases. It usually occurs because of a lack of poor oral hygiene. Brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing once a day and seeing your dentist for regular visits can improve your chances of successfully treating periodontitis. In fact, doing those things can greatly reduce your chance of developing this horrible infection at all. If you are worried about getting gum disease, keep reading.
Factors that can increase your risk of periodontitis include:
- Poor oral health habits
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Hormonal changes, such as those related to pregnancy or menopause
- Substance abuse
- Inadequate nutrition, including vitamin C deficiency
- Medications that cause dry mouth
- Conditions that decrease immunity, like leukemia or HIV/AIDS
- Certain diseases, such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease
Causes of Gum Disease
In most cases, periodontitis starts with plaque, a sticky layer of bacteria that collects on the surface of the teeth. If left untreated, plaque can eventually lead to periodontitis. First, plaque forms on your teeth when sugar in various foods interact with the bacteria in your mouth. If it is allowed to sit, it will turn into tartar, which is hard and difficult to remove. The longer plaque and tartar remain on the teeth, the more bad bacteria can damage your teeth. Tartar can only be removed by a dental professional which is why seeing your dentist regularly is so important to your dental health. Additionally, inflammation of the gums can impact your health in other ways, even leading to stroke or cardiovascular issues.
Follow your dentist’s recommended schedule for regular checkups to keep gum disease at bay. Give us a call today at (713) 943-9832 to learn more.
Posted in: Periodontal Disease