Periodontal disease refers to infections and inflammation around your teeth, including your gums and jawbone. Forms of periodontal disease include gingivitis and periodontitis. If you want to protect your smile, you should learn how to reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Gingivitis, or gum disease, is a form of inflammation that involves sore or bleeding gums and is caused by the presence of bacteria around the teeth and gumline. Without treatment, the inflammation can lead to periodontitis, which causes the gum tissue to pull away from the teeth and increases the risk of infection.
Practice Proper Oral Hygiene Habits
Preventing periodontal disease begins with your brushing and flossing habits. You should brush after every meal to remove food particles that get trapped between your teeth. Food debris is one of the biggest causes of plaque.
You should also floss at least once per day. However, if you have pockets between your teeth and gums where food tends to get stuck, you may also want to floss after each meal. Rinsing with mouthwash may also help remove food debris and prevent plaque or bacteria from forming.
Quit Smoking or Using Tobacco Products
Besides practicing proper oral hygiene habits, you should also avoid tobacco products and other habits that may increase the risk of plaque buildup. Smoking not only increases your risk of developing periodontal disease but it also increases the chances of the disease spreading rapidly.
Avoid Grinding or Clenching Your Teeth
Teeth grinding is a common issue that may exacerbate existing issues. The pressure from grinding your teeth may cause damage to the periodontal ligaments, which increases the risk of infection and the spread of periodontal disease. If you regularly grind or clench your teeth, talk to your dentist or periodontist about possible solutions to break this habit.
Visit a Periodontist for Annual Exams
A yearly trip to a periodontist can help detect the early signs of periodontal disease. Early detection is the best way to reduce the risk of allowing the disease to progress.
The skilled periodontists at Central Periodontics can examine the condition of your teeth and gums to determine if you already show signs of periodontal disease. If you have the early stages of this disease, you may receive recommendations to reduce the spread and begin protecting your gums.
For those who have already experienced additional damage due to infection or inflammation, treatment may be necessary. Depending on the severity of the problem, you may require the removal of teeth, root canal procedures, or dental surgery.
You can take steps to reduce your risk of developing gingivitis or periodontitis. Make sure that you follow the right brushing and flossing recommendations and remember to schedule an appointment with a periodontist each year.