7 Preventative Tips For Periodontitis

Oral HealthWhen it comes to oral health concerns, gum disease is a condition that should have patients and their dental care providers on high alert – half of Americans over age 30 have some form of the disease. Among adults over the age of 65, that proportion skyrockets to two-thirds of Americans.

Advanced periodontitis can result in tooth loss, damage to periodontal ligaments, loss of bone density and an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Luckily it’s simple to prevent this serious dental illness if you’re willing to follow a basic oral health regimen faithfully.

Tips for avoiding periodontitis

  1. Brush your teeth twice daily. Brushing your teeth properly removes bacterial plaque and prevents it from hardening on your teeth and forming tartar.
  2. Floss your teeth once a day. Flossing is essential for healthy gums, as it removes plaque from the 40 percent of tooth surfaces your toothbrush can’t reach, particularly below the gum line.
  3. See your dentist regularly. In addition to keeping a close eye on the health of your teeth and gums, regularly scheduled dental check-ups also give your dentist a chance to provide prophylactic cleanings that can help lower your risk of contracting gingivitis, the precursor to periodontitis.
  4. Have troublesome restorations fixed. If you have fillings, bridges, or other dental restorations that are hard to clean around, or are broken, get them fixed. Anything that keeps you from brushing and flossing your entire mouth needs to be addressed.
  5. Stay hydrated and get help with dry mouth symptoms. If you’re experiencing lower-than-normal saliva flow in your mouth, you are at risk for contracting gum conditions such as gingivitis or periodontitis. Your dentist may refer you to your family physician to discuss medications that could be causing dry mouth, or he or she may suggest oral rinses or other products that can help improve saliva flow. You can do your part, too, by making sure you’re drinking plenty of water!

    “Periodontitis can be an oral health nightmare,” says Dr. Carol Ford, a cosmetic dentist with a practice in central Phoenix. “Map out a prevention plan with your dentist and avoid trouble later!”

 

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