There are some rather frightening oral health facts that you should not ignore. Over half of the population suffer from periodontal disease- and many people may not even realize that they have it! It would be a grave error to think that gum disease is a benign condition that has no impact on other body systems. In fact, gum disease can negatively impact holistic health, leading to fatal blockages to major organs of the body. This is in addition to the typical side effects of periodontal disease, which can include swollen, sore gums, bleeding, bad breath, oral pain, and tooth loss.
Ten ways to prevent and treat this condition include:
Brush, brush, and brush.
The timeless way to prevent issues such as periodontal disease is to brush. Brush several times a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a fluoride enhanced toothpaste.
Floss every day.
Flossing is the best way to get at the tartar between teeth and along the gums, which later turns to plaque. It is this plaque that causes gum disease, leading to tooth loss.
See your dentist twice a year.
The old standard was once a year, but depending on your risk factors, it is pragmatic to see your dentist two to three times per year.
Start kids early.
Children should be taken to a dentist early, before their teeth come in, around six months of age, no later than one year old.
Rinse with water.
Get the whole family in the habit of rinsing their mouth after eating or drinking anything at all. A good mouthwash or rinse is best, but even water is effective.
Teeth descaling is key.
When you have plaque around the gum-line, a dentist can scrape this away using a method known as descaling. This may be part of your routine visit.
Surgical options for severe cases.
There are some surgical procedures, including laser treatments, that can be effective at treating periodontal disease. Since the disease can progress to tooth loss and issues with the bones of the mouth and jaw, bone grafting and plaque removal techniques are offered by oral surgeons.
Xylitol has advantages.
There is some evidence that xylitol can be an effective product in the fight against gum disease. Xylitol is often seen as a sugar substitute and is found in plums, berries, and birch trees. Consuming xylitol can help reduce unhealthy bacteria in the mouth, and reduce risk of gum disease.
Control your risk factors.
Some risk factors for periodontal disease include age, genetics, and diet. If family members are prone to oral health issues such as gum disease, than you may be, also. Watch what you eat and maintain a healthy lifestyle to give you a fighting chance against periodontal disease.
Quit smoking today.
There is a correlation between smoking and gum disease. The best prevention for those who smoke is, simply, to quit. Talk to providers about alternative smoking options or cessation products.
Periodontal disease and oral health facts are no laughing matter, but it is reassuring to know that some very basic oral health practices can reduce and eliminate the chance of contracting this condition. If you experience any symptoms of gum disease, talk with your dental provider about ways to treat the condition and improve your oral health.