Periodontal disease, which occurs as a result of inflammation of the gum tissue, can have serious consequences for your smile, leading to tooth and bone loss in the most severe cases.
Fortunately, gum disease can be prevented by taking steps to maintain your oral hygiene and mitigate other risk factors. Patients who are at risk for periodontal disease may want to consult with a periodontist to develop a plan to prevent this condition.
How Gum Disease Develops
The oral bacteria that are found in plaque and tartar are the main culprit in gum disease. Those bacteria attack the gum tissue and cause a variety of symptoms, including:
- Swelling in the gum tissue
- Excessive redness in the area
- Bleeding gum tissue
Gum disease is a progressive condition that occurs in stages. The symptoms listed above indicate the presence of gingivitis, which is the mildest form of gum disease. When patients fail to address gingivitis, gum disease will advance into periodontitis, which can result in the following symptoms:
- Persistent bad breath
- Red or swollen gums
- Bleeding gums
- Loose teeth
- Tooth sensitivity
- Receding gums
Gum Disease Prevention Strategies
As you can see, the potential outcomes of periodontal disease can be devastating. To avoid those consequences, you should do everything possible to prevent this condition. You can take these steps to do so:
- Practice good oral hygiene habits. Brush your teeth twice a day, for two minutes at a time, and floss daily.
- See your dentist for check-ups and cleanings at least every six months.
- Limit sugar in your diet, especially sticky candies that can linger on the teeth and provide a source of nutrition for oral bacteria.
- Be aware of and manage other risk factors, such as hormonal changes and medication side effects.
- Avoid cigarettes and all forms of tobacco.
Keep in mind that it is also important to monitor your gum tissue for the signs of gingivitis so that you can be treated promptly for periodontal disease if it does develop. Follow up with a periodontist at the first indication of this condition.
To learn more about how you can prevent gum disease, call Park Cities Periodontics and Implant Dentistry and speak to one of our knowledgeable team members.