Periodontal disease prevention

Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums that typically begins with bleeding or irritated gums. Many people find that their gums bleed during brushing or flossing and ignore the issue until there is a serious problem with periodontal disease. When periodontal disease is not treated, the infection will spread to all areas of the gum and tooth loss can be the result. Periodontal disease prevention is the first step in making sure that you do not suffer tooth loss as a result of this infection.

To begin understanding periodontal disease prevention, it is necessary to be aware of what causes the condition in the first place. Bacteria are the cause of periodontal disease, and which can be found in dental plaque. Plaque is the sticky stuff on your teeth that forms after you have brushed your teeth. Your body will respond to the bacteria that are in the plaque by releasing substances that cause the inflammation and damage that occurs in the mouth. This will lead to bleeding gums, swollen gums and periodontal disease in its early form, gingivitis.

Good oral hygiene is the first step toward periodontal disease prevention. Daily brushing and flossing will remove the dental plaque from your teeth and keep the bacteria responsible for periodontal disease away. Visiting the dentist for regular checkups and cleanings will also find the signs of gingivitis which is an early form of periodontal disease. Regular cleanings by your dentist will remove plaque from harder to reach places and prevent the development of gum disease.

While plaque is the main contributor to periodontal disease, there are other factors that can contribute to the condition. Medications and other conditions are thought to increase your risks of developing gum disease. Genetics is one of the factors that may also contribute to the development of gum disease. Unfortunately, there isn’t anything you can do about this factor, but you can be more vigilant in your periodontal disease prevention efforts and perhaps step up your visits to the dentist and make sure that you are thorough with your oral hygiene.

Smoking and the use of tobacco is another factor that will increase the risk of periodontal disease. The longer you smoke, the higher your risk will be for the gum disease. In patients who have periodontal disease, smoking increases the severity of the condition by allowing more plaque and tartar to build up on the teeth and gums. This is one of the factors that you do have control over. To decrease your risk of periodontal disease, it is recommended that you quit smoking.

Crooked teeth can also add to the risk for periodontal disease. This is generally because misaligned or crooked teeth make it much more difficult to clean the plaque from your teeth. The spaces and misalignments may cause you to miss areas of your teeth and develop a buildup of plaque. For good periodontal disease prevention, you can ask your dentist the best way to reach these difficult to reach places or you can have your teeth straightened. The dentist can show you some flossing techniques that will help you reach the more difficult areas of the mouth.

Medications that cause dry mouth can also worsen periodontal disease or increase your risk. Some of the medications that will cause dry mouth include antidepressants, high blood pressure medications, and diuretics. Other medications may cause the gums to become enlarged which will trap the plaque and make it more difficult to remove. Dilantin, cyclosporine and nifedipine are examples of these types of medications.

Good nutrition is also helpful in periodontal disease prevention. A healthy well balanced diet will keep the immune system stronger and help to fight off the gum infection. Brush, floss and visit your dentist at least once every six months to practice good periodontal disease prevention.

Last updated on Oct 2nd, 2009 and filed under Dental Health. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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