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How Can I Prevent Periodontitis?

When you suffer from periodontal disease it can have an effect on your overall health. Today, our Toronto dentists talk about the causes of periodontitis and how you can help prevent it from developing.

Periodontitis: How Does gum disease develop?

While periodontitis can develop slowly over time, it has the potential to become a very serious condition. Because it is typically painless in its early stages (gingivitis), it allows the disease to progress to a more severe form without being detected until it is too late.

Plaque collects on your teeth and along the gum line, then hardens into a rough, porous deposit referred to as tartar or calculus. Pockets form between the teeth and irritated gums, and bacteria collect here, which can lead to other health problems such as cardiovascular disease. Once hardened, only your dentist will have the tools to remove plaque.

Once periodontitis reaches the advanced stages it can cause complications such as gum deterioration, bone loss and eventual tooth loss. In fact, gum disease is one of the most common causes of tooth loss in adults.

This makes a daily hygiene routine of brushing and flossing as well as attending regular dental hygiene appointments key for preventing this condition – and for maintaining your oral health. 

What are some ways to help prevent periodontitis?

Some of the other ways that you can help to prevent the development of periodontitis include:

Take a look at your medication side effects. Certain medications can contribute to and aggravate gum disease, including antidepressants, heart medicines and oral contraceptives.

Getting more vitamins A and C. There are part of a healthy diet that can help prevent periodontitis. Conversely, cut sugary and starchy foods, which allow plaque to build.

Visit your dentist as soon as you realize something is wrong. Correct dental problems or oral health issues such as teeth grinding, misaligned or crowded teeth. It can be more challenging to properly clean teeth that aren’t properly spaced, thus providing room for plaque to grow and thrive.

Rub your gums often to improve blood flow. Along with brushing and flossing regularly (at least twice a day for two minutes each time for brushing, and once daily for thorough flossing), show your gums some love by gently massaging them, which increases blood flow to the tissue.

Always use toothpaste with added fluoride. This key ingredient removes the buildup of plaque bacteria along the gum line without irritating gums.

Quit smoking or don't start. Smoking is not only strongly associated with the onset of gum disease, but it also makes it more difficult for your gums to heal once they’re damaged, as smoking weakens the immune system.

Be aware of your risk factors. Whether genetics, diet, age, smoking or other factors make you more susceptible to periodontitis, knowledge is power when it comes to reducing your risk and staying healthy.

See if your dentist offers services for preventing periodontitis. The earlier your dentist can detect periodontitis (if you do get it), the better. That's because it's easier to treat gum disease in its earlier stages than when it has advanced to the point that you start to lose teeth or jaw bone tissue. Depending on how far the disease has progressed and its severity, there are surgical and non-surgical options for treatment. 

Keep up with a rigorous oral hygiene routine. This along with reducing your personal risk factors - will go a long way in the fight to prevent gum disease. Our gums are as important as our teeth when it comes to our oral health, so it’s important not to neglect them.

Are your gums bleeding when you brush them? Contact our Toronto dentists to request an appointment today.

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