I. Stephen Brown, DDS
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Importance of Periodontal Care in Fighting Gum Disease

What happens if I don't get treatment for gum disease?

Gum disease does a lot more than cause tooth pain, oral decay and foul breath. If left untreated, it can lead to problems in other areas of your body such as the heart and pancreas. Some forms of gum disease have also been linked to cancer. There are many things you can do at home to help prevent gum disease.

What preventive steps can I take?

The most important thing you can do at home to prevent gum disease is to brush your teeth twice a day. Brushing removes plaque, bacteria and leftover food from your teeth and gums. Select a toothbrush with soft bristles that you can easily maneuver around your mouth. Get into the practice of replacing your toothbrush every three months. It is also important that you floss daily. This will remove all of the bits of food and bacteria in areas that your toothbrush can’t get into. You can also use a mouthwash in place of or in addition to flossing.

Eating a balanced diet is another important factor when it comes to preventing gum disease. Limiting your intake of sugary foods and beverages will lower the amount of disease causing bacteria that live in your mouth. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables will provide your body with the nutrients it needs to build healthy gum tissue, so eat a variety of nutritious foods each day. A diet that lacks nutrition will not be able to provide the body with the nutrients it needs to fight off any infections that develop, including gum disease.

If you smoke or use any tobacco products, quitting is a good idea if you want to prevent gum disease. Along with an increased risk of heart disease and cancer, tobacco product use increases the likelihood that you will develop gum disease. Many dentists consider tobacco use to be among the top causes of gum disease. Smoking as also been shown to reduce the effectiveness of some treatments for gum disease.

People who grind their teeth are more susceptible to developing gum disease. The grinding action puts additional pressure on the tissues that support your teeth, which causes them to wear down. Find a solution that keeps you from being able to grind your teeth. If you grind your teeth due to stress, try relaxation techniques or meditation to calm your mood. People who are under high levels of stress are more likely to suffer from gum disease. Stress also lowers the immune system's ability to fight off infections.

The Long Lasting Benefits of Periodontal Care

Preventing gum disease at home is an important part of having good overall dental health. These simple tips can help you to make sure your teeth and gums stay healthy. Due to age or genetics, some people may develop gum disease despite good home dental care habits. For this reason, it is important to see your dentist regularly for check-ups. In the event that you do develop gum disease, you will want to identify it as early as possible and begin treatment. Combined with proper dental care at home and treatment from your dentist, gum disease can be reversed.

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