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Preventing Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease is a caused by the growth of bacteria in your mouth. Early symptoms of periodontal disease include red swollen gums, tenderness, and bleeding while brushing and flossing. If left untreated, the resulting infection can cause bone and tissue damage as well as tooth loss.
In most cases, periodontal disease is preventable through effective oral hygiene at home, as well as maintaining regular dental visits for routine cleanings. Hormonal changes such as pregnancy or menopause, as well as diseases which compromise the immune system can make a person more susceptible to periodontal disease. Poor diet and habits such as smoking can also put a patient at greater risk. People who have a family history of periodontitis should also take extra care to maintain healthy oral hygiene regimen.
Worse yet, some studies have shown a link between gum disease and chronic illnesses such as diabetes or heart disease. Data is still circumstantial as new evidence is emerging, but it can be safely assumed that having a healthy mouth will have a positive impact on one’s overall health. Incorporating healthy habits into one’s routine, such as eating more fruits and vegetables,can certainly do the body good.
Many people struggle with keeping their teeth adequately clean at home. Do not get discouraged if you are one of the many people who don’t brush or floss regularly. In fact, it can take three weeks to a month after starting a new habit for it to become a regular part of one’s routine. Make it your goal to brush twice a day, one in the morning and once before bed, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you slip up. Simply return to your brushing and flossing schedule the next day. Some ideas to help you remember are to place post it notes on visible places such as your bathroom mirror, or to program your phone to send you reminders. While it is best to go to bed with a clean mouth, don’t wait until you are exhausted at the end of the night to brush and floss. Do it right after you’ve had your last meal or snack so that you will have enough energy to do a thorough job.
As stated earlier, maintaining regular visits with your family dentist is an essential part of preventing periodontal disease. We completely understand that people have busy lives, and going to the dentist isn’t anyone’s favourite activity, which can make it tempting to put booking that appointment on the back burner. However, the longer you wait, the more risk you run of developing cavities, gum disease or even more serious conditions such as oral cancer ( oral cancer responds best to treatment when caught in its earliest stages). Also, if you are unsure about how to properly care for your teeth, your dentist or hygienist can coach you on proven oral hygiene methods to help keep your smile healthy for years to come.
If you are overdue for your regular cleaning, don’t delay. We would love to see you sooner rather than later! Call today to schedule a FREE consultation! (604) 437-7723