Understanding gum disease—and how to prevent it

  • Feb 11 2019

Periodontal disease, more commonly known as known as gum disease, is pretty common among individuals in Northwest Indiana. However, the fact that it happens often does not decrease its level of seriousness. This inflammatory condition impacts your gums and the bones that support your teeth. To keep periodontal disease from impacting your life, it’s helpful to understand how it starts, as well as you can prevent it. Here are a few examples. If you have any questions about your gum health, don’t hesitate to ask us during your next appointment.

Plaque

Plaque is the most common cause of periodontal problems. This sticky film builds up on teeth when we fail to manually remove it. Over time, it can do damage. That’s why it’s important that you work to keep it at bay by maintaining a regular oral health routine. This includes daily brushing, as well as flossing. It’s also key to schedule professional dental cleanings twice a year. Dentist have tools that are more powerful than any over-the-counter brushes or picks. By eliminating plaque, we eliminate one of the major risks of disease.

Lifestyles

Are you a smoker? Do you chew tobacco? If so, your oral health depends on you quitting. Smoking increases your risk of diseases, including in your mouth—and the more you smoke, the greater your risk of developing gum disease becomes. In fact, smoking has been proven to be the main cause of periodontal disease that is resistant to treatment. Additionally, stress and poor nutrition can complicate your oral health and make it more challenging to treat gingivitis and other periodontal concerns. If you’re struggling with any of these issues, it might be worthwhile to visit with a mental health specialist for strategies to overcome them.

Misalignment

If your teeth are crooked, too close together, or otherwise misaligned, you’re going to have more difficulty cleaning them on your own. In this situation, it becomes difficult to remove plaque, and it can build up and spread until it becomes a larger issue. To keep disease away, you’ll need to commit to routine professional cleanings. Additionally, you might also consider orthodontics. Today, there are a variety of options for straightening out your teeth, including the discreet but effective Invisalign. With this product, we create a clear, customized mold to slip onto your teeth and gradually shift them to a more manageable grin. This will make it easier to keep your teeth clean, and as an added bonus, you’ll feel more confident about your smile.

Genetics

No one can control their genes or family history, but understanding both can help you prepare for and prevent hereditary conditions. New research indicates that gum disease and periodontal issues can be linked to genetics. If you are predisposed to the condition, it’s important that you take even more care to prevent it from occurring in your own mouth. Be vigilant about your oral health, as well as your habits, and teach your children and grandchildren to do the same.

Posted in: Oral Health