There will never be a substitute for regular tooth brushing and flossing to help avoid developing periodontal (gum) disease. Combined with regular dental check-ups, having a thorough home care commitment is paramount in avoiding bacterial build-up. However, because people are more susceptible to oral issues, here are ways to bolster your time at the sink.
• Eat a well-balanced diet. Some foods can promote healthy teeth and gums, particularly those that contain Vitamin D, Omega-3 and Calcium. These have been shown to help in reducing the risk for periodontal disease.
• If you smoke, you should know … Smoking is very drying to tissues in the mouth, which increases your risk for periodontal disease. A dry mouth is a major contributor to developing periodontal disease!
• Stay in shape! Studies show that people who are at a healthy weight and are physically fit have a lower risk for periodontal disease than those who are sedentary.
• Keep stress levels low. Stress has been found to contribute to a number of health problems, including gum disease. Research shows that stress increases cortisol, which can intensify bacterial damage to the gums and bones that support teeth. Another study revealed that stressed out people are more likely to neglect their oral hygiene.
• Be committed to annual physicals. Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory disease. It has been associated with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis and much more. Annual screening for systemic disease can enable you to have early treatment, and in turn, benefit your periodontal health.
Periodontal disease, if untreated, can lead to tooth loss and cause problems with other systems of the body. Because your periodontal health has been shown to correlate to overall health, keeping both your oral health and overall health in good condition will keep you smiling, from head to toe!