Periodontal Disease (more commonly known as gum disease) is actually one of the most common dental health issues, and also one of the most unrecognized by patients. In fact, 75 percent of Americans over the age of 35 have some form of gum disease. If left undiagnosed, gum disease can have a number of effects on your overall systemic heath — from heart and respiratory disease, to stroke, to complications with pregnancy. With the serious consequences that gum disease can have on your health, it is important that all of us start taking steps toward avoiding this highly preventable disease. Here are some things you can do:
- Brush thoroughly and regularly. The earliest stage of gum disease, gingivitis, actually commences with bacteria that have been left on your teeth from food residue. If untreated, this gingivitis later leads to serious health problems. The best way to prevent gum disease is to get into a solid brushing routine. You should be sure to brush at least twice a day and after your meals. By removing this residue, you’ll be able to stop gingivitis before it even begins.
- Incorporate flossing into your daily routine. Flossing is a vital part of any oral healthcare regimen, and yet we find it is also one of the most frequently skipped steps. As we mentioned earlier, removing food residue from your teeth is critical to stopping gingivitis – causing bacteria from taking hold. So if you’re not getting the food particles out from between your teeth, you’re likely not getting all the harmful bacteria out of your mouth. We recommend flossing at least once a day at night. Try keeping your floss right next to your toothbrush as a regular reminder of this important habit.
- Quit smoking. Unfortunately, those who use tobacco products are actually more prone to getting gum disease — in fact, they’re twice as likely to contract the illness as nonsmokers. Also, it is more difficult to treat gum disease in smokers due to their weakened immune system. In order to keep your mouth in good health, we highly recommend cutting out tobacco products entirely.
- Take vitamins. Did you know those with higher levels of vitamin D are 20 percent less likely to have gingivitis? Vitamin D has anti-inflammatory benefits, which benefits your gums! You’ll also be wise to add vitamin C to the mix, as this can help with bleeding gums. Finally, calcium is another big help, as it strengthens your jawbone. With 800 milligrams of calcium per day, you’ll significantly improve your chances of avoiding gum disease.
- Visit Manus Dental twice a year. It is highly recommended that you visit the dentist for a regular check-up twice a year. This is how we check for early signs of gum disease and take preventative measures — such as evaluating the color and firmness of your gums and measuring the space between your teeth and gums.
By following these simple steps, you will be making leaps and bounds to a healthier smile and a healthier you!
Visit Manus Dental Today
Call one of our offices in Streeterville, Hyde Park, Lake Zurich, or Yorkville today to set up your biannual checkup and we’ll help you prevent the damaging effects of this illness!