The health of your mouth is not just about having healthy teeth, but also healthy gums. Periodontal or gum disease is an infection that affects the soft tissue supporting the tooth.
Bacteria get into the pockets surrounding the teeth and multiply. As the bacteria multiply, the immune system reacts to protect the body from the bacteria, and inflammation occurs. The bacteria also form a colorless membrane around the teeth. The membrane or plaque can then harden to form tartar. Without treatment, periodontal disease can lead to loss of teeth.
Preventing the condition is vital not just for your teeth but also for your body in general. Periodontal disease also increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other health problems. More importantly, once the periodontal disease progresses, it is irreversible. So, what are the best steps to take towards preventing this condition?
Practice Good Oral Hygiene
Good oral hygiene is the first step towards the prevention of this condition. You do not wake up one day and find out you have periodontal disease. It progresses over time. So if you practice good oral hygiene, it will keep it from developing.
Good oral hygiene does not just refer to brushing teeth but also flossing. Unless you brush and floss regularly, plaque will mix with other minerals and harden to form tartar. If you do not get a dental cleaning to remove it, tartar will irritate your gums. Irritation of gums will lead to inflammation and periodontal disease.
Eat a Balanced Diet
A balanced diet is not only good for your health but also helps to keep your smile bright. Sugary foods, carbs, and sugary drinks can lead to tooth decay. The bacteria feed on the sugar and carbs. After that, they release acids that can damage not only your teeth but also your gums.
Fruits and vegetables do not contain as much carbs or sugars as the above. They are mostly made of fiber, which is healthy and will not hide between your teeth like sugar and carbs. Before putting a food item in your shopping cart, check the nutritional information on the package.
Hydration is key to preventing periodontal disease. It will also improve your overall health. Saliva is mostly made up of water. It is the body’s best natural self-defense against plaque. After eating, it washes away food particles together with plaque as you swallow or as saliva forms in your mouth.
Thus, you need to keep drinking water during the day to ensure you stay hydrated. Water without additives is the best form of hydration. Also remember that coffee, alcohol, and other drinks may dehydrate rather than hydrate you.
Go for regular teeth cleaning at least every six months. As your dentist is cleaning your teeth, they will be able to note any sign of periodontal disease. Set a treatment plan if they notice anything so you can stop its progress.
Take Vitamin C
Periodontal disease can also be a result of a deficiency in vitamin C. Vitamin C is abundant in oranges, kiwis, and strawberries. You can also take vitamin C supplements to boost your resistance to periodontal disease. Another benefit of vitamin C is that it stops your gums from swelling and bleeding.
For more on preventing periodontal disease, contact Marietta Smile Gallery at our office in Marietta, Georgia. You can call (770) 809-1500 today to schedule an appointment.