Gum disease begins with plaque build up and ends (if left to itself) with tooth decay. Fortunately there are several specific steps you can implement to help prevent gum disease.
What is gum disease?
First, let’s address what gum disease is. Gum disease is also known as periodontal disease and can destroy tissue, then eventually end in tooth loss. Gingivitis is a condition that typically begins before gum disease sets in. When gingivitis begins, the bacteria in plaque cause gum inflammation and easy bleeding. At this point, the gums may be irritated, but no bone or tissue damage has happened yet.
If left untreated, gingivitis will lead to periodontitis. At this point, the inner layer of bone and gum move away from the teeth, creating pockets. Debris and bacteria get stuck and lodge into these pockets, causing them to become infected. The toxins created by the bacteria as well as the body’s enzymes that fight infection, begin to break down the connective tissue and bone. This bone and tissue is required to keep the teeth in place. As periodontitis progresses, the teeth lose stability and tooth loss results.
How do I prevent gum disease?
Here are four suggestions to help you prevent gum disease.
- Stop smoking immediately: Tobacco products pose a significant threat to dental health. In fact, if you smoke you are seven times more likely to get gum disease than a non smoker.
- Cut the stress: Stress makes it hard for the human body to fight off infection (like the bacteria found with gum disease). To ease your stress level, try exercising, meditation, counseling, or changing your diet to include healthier foods.
- Maintain a proper diet: Good nutrition is a great starting point in preventing gum disease or other bodily ills. Eat foods containing antioxidants, vitamin E and vitamin C. All of these can assist the body in fixing damaged tissue.
- Stop grinding or clenching your teeth: The excessive force created in the mouth when clenching or grinding can contribute to tissue breakdown in the mouth.
Arrange an appointment
For more information about how to prevent gum disease, contact Broadway Family Dentistry today. You can reach our office at (701) 839-1299. We look forward to helping you achieve a healthy and happy smile.