Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss and is one of the most common health conditions in our population. It is caused by plaque and bacteria buildup that forms around the gum line, and creates pockets between teeth and gums. This disease can progress and contribute to deteriorating oral health and overall health, such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and pregnancy complications.
Although periodontal disease may progress without pain, it is important to take note of symptoms to prevent further overall health problems.
• Gums that bleed during and after brushing teeth
• Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
• Receding gums
• Formation of deep pockets between teeth and gums
• Red, swollen or tender gums
• Loose or shifting teeth
• Sores in your mouth
• Painful or sensitive teeth
Health and lifestyle changes can help to reduce the risk, severity and speed of gum disease development, including:
Proper Dental Care – Maintaining good oral health consists of professional cleanings by your dentist at least twice a year, as well as proper brushing and flossing. Brushing eliminates plaque from the surfaces of teeth and flossing removes food particles between teeth and under the gum line.
Maintain a Well-Balanced Diet – Proper nutrition can help strengthen your immune system and fight off infection. Eating foods that are high in vitamin E and vitamin C can help your body repair damaged tissue.
Reduce Stress – Stress makes it difficult for your body to fight off infections since it weakens the immune system.
Avoid Clenching and Grinding Your Teeth – Excessive force on your teeth and tissues may increase the rate at which these tissues are destroyed. This pressure may speed up the breakdown of the periodontal ligament and bone.
Stop Smoking – The chemicals in tobacco products is a significant risk factor for the increase of gum disease. People who smoke tend to collect more tartar on their teeth and often develop deeper periodontal pockets once they have gum disease.
If you experience any symptoms of periodontal disease or for more information on prevention, please contact our Durham dental office.