4 Things You Can Do To Prevent Periodontal Disease

Prevent periodontal disease

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is a common oral health problem affecting many adults in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately half of adults 30 years and older suffer from periodontal disease in some form or another. The condition leads to gum inflammation, tooth loss, and other complications, making it a serious concern for anyone who wants to maintain good oral health. Fortunately, you can take a few simple steps to prevent periodontal disease and keep your teeth and gums healthy. 

The development of periodontal disease is predominantly due to infection and inflammation in the gums and supporting jawbone. During its initial stage, known as gingivitis, the gums may turn red, become swollen, and even bleed. As the disease progresses to periodontitis, the gums can recede from the teeth, leading to bone loss and eventual tooth loss. This dental condition typically occurs in adults and is considered one of the significant threats to dental health, alongside tooth decay.

Preventing periodontal disease is crucial to maintaining good oral health because it has severe consequences if left untreated. In addition to what we shared above, you should know that if the infection spreads, it may cause complications in other parts of the body, such as the heart and lungs. Moreover, research has shown that periodontal disease is linked to several chronic health conditions, including diabetes and heart disease, so we must care for our teeth and gums.

4 Habits for a Healthier Smile 

Maintaining good oral hygiene is vital to achieving a healthy, beautiful smile. Following these 4 simple habits can help prevent periodontal disease and other oral health issues.

1. Brush and floss regularly.

Brushing and flossing are the cornerstones of good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush to remove plaque and bacteria from your teeth and gums. Flossing daily is equally important as it removes food particles and plaque your toothbrush can’t reach, preventing bacteria buildup that can lead to periodontal disease. 

2. Eat a healthy diet full of tooth-friendly foods.

The food you eat plays a crucial role in your oral health. Choosing a diet rich in nutrients and low in sugar and acidic foods can help protect against periodontal disease. Foods high in sugar and acid can erode tooth enamel and contribute to gum disease, so avoiding (or at least limiting) them is essential. Instead, opt for foods high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, such as fresh fruits, crunchy vegetables, and whole grains. These foods help strengthen your teeth and gums and promote healthy saliva production, which helps wash away harmful bacteria.

Avoid foods that can stick to your teeth, such as candy, dried fruit, and sugary drinks. These foods provide a breeding ground for the bacteria responsible for tooth decay and gum disease. 

3. Quit smoking.

Tobacco use significantly threatens oral health, increasing the risk of periodontal disease and other health issues. The chemicals in tobacco smoke can weaken the immune system, making it harder for the body to fight off infection and heal damaged tissue. Over time, this can cause bacteria to accumulate and break down the gum tissue, leading to pockets around the teeth where the bacteria can thrive. Additionally, smoking can reduce blood flow to the gums, making it harder for them to heal.

According to the American Dental Association, smokers are three times more likely to lose all their teeth as a result of gum disease than nonsmokers. The longer you smoke, the more cigarettes you smoke, the higher your risk of developing the disease. Smokeless tobacco products, such as chewing tobacco, can also lead to gum disease, as they contain harmful chemicals that irritate and damage gum tissue. By quitting smoking and avoiding tobacco products, you can reduce your risk of periodontal disease and improve your oral health.

4. Don’t miss your regular dental checkups and cleanings. 

Regular dental checkups and cleanings are a critical component of general dentistry and are necessary for preventing periodontal disease and maintaining optimal oral health. During these preventive appointments, your dentist will thoroughly evaluate your teeth and gums to check for signs of periodontal disease and other oral health issues. They may also take X-rays to assess the health of your teeth and jawbone.

In addition to the evaluation, your dental hygienist will perform a professional cleaning to remove plaque and tartar buildup from your teeth and gums. Even with regular brushing and flossing, some areas of the mouth can be challenging to reach, leading to a buildup of plaque and tartar. 

Professional cleanings remove this buildup and help prevent the development of periodontal disease. Your dentist may also advise on proper brushing and flossing techniques and recommend other preventive measures, such as fluoride treatments or dental sealants. And remember, kids can get gum disease too. So their preventive dental appointments are equally important.

Sheppard Family Dental Care is your partner in gum disease treatment and prevention.

Sheppard Family Dental Care is your partner in treating gum disease. As we’ve discussed, periodontal disease severely affects oral health and overall well-being. However, there are simple steps you can take to prevent this condition and maintain healthy gums, including practicing good oral hygiene, eating a healthy diet, quitting smoking, and regularly visiting your dentist for preventive cleanings and evaluations.

We are committed to providing you with the highest quality dental care to help you achieve optimal oral health. Our experienced dental professionals will help you prevent and treat periodontitis and provide personalized recommendations for maintaining a healthy mouth. So don’t let periodontal disease take a toll on your oral health. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a dental checkup.