3 Min Read
It’s staggering to think about how much our gums affect our general health. Red or bleeding gums are often the first clue that something is wrong with our dental health.
But gum disease has also been linked to more serious health concerns like heart disease, diabetes, and even rheumatoid arthritis.
Yet, preventing gum disease from occurring can be as simple as staying a few steps ahead.
What Is Gum Disease?
Humans have a funny relationship with bacteria. Some of these little prehistoric critters help our bodies digest food better or process certain enzymes.
But, for the most part, our bodies tend to fight off bacteria in different parts of our bodies. Typically, the first sign of this fight is inflammation that makes these areas swollen or even painful.
Gingivitis is infection and inflammation of the gums that occurs when bacteria accumulates from poor hygiene. Untreated gingivitis can deteriorate the supporting bone, causing the gums to recede and pull away. This is referred to as periodontitis.
Gum disease can, over time, lead to tooth and bone loss as the underlying structures that support the teeth are lost.
How Does Gum Disease Occur?
Bacterial infection and the body’s own inflammatory responses are the hallmarks of gum disease, but a lifetime of bad habits is typically the root cause.
Habits like smoking or chewing tobacco, a diet high in sugar, and a lack of a regular dental hygiene routine can all cause harmful bacteria to stay on the surface of teeth longer.
This eventually starts the slow degradation of the gums themselves as constant irritation deepens the pocket between the tooth and gum, slowly weakening both.
How Does Prevention Help Avoid Gum Disease?
By keeping an eye on what causes gum disease, we can be better prepared to avoid it.
Dr. Tomazin offers several approaches that can be used to keep an eye on oral health. These services include:
- Gum and periodontal evaluation
- Periodontal deep cleanings
- Activated oxygen-ozone treatments
- Bacterial DNA testing
- Oral cancer screenings
- Remineralizing therapies
Get in the (Dental Health) Habit
Making dental health a priority starts with making dental hygiene an everyday habit.
Sounds simple—except studies show most of us don’t properly take care of our teeth, which can lead to gum disease and other oral health problems in the future.
Get in the habit of brushing and flossing at least twice a day. Also, be sure to use mouthwash and toothpaste specially formulated to fight plaque. Your teeth and gums will thank you later.
Everything in Moderation
Sweets like ice cream and cake may sound like a yummy treat, but all that extra sugar can be disastrous to future gum health.
Sugar can speed up tooth decay, gum irritation, and plaque formation by giving bacteria a source of food and energy.
It’s best to keep the sugary treats for special occasions. Also, try to avoid drinks high in sugar, like sodas or juices.
Treat Your Teeth
The best way to keep your teeth and gums healthy is to floss and brush in the morning and before bed. Make sure you maintain your regular visits to your hygienist and dentist.
Services like activated oxygen-ozone treatments can be effective for gum diseases or other dental conditions. With its powerful oxidizing properties, harmful bacteria are neutralized on the spot to prevent further decay.
Using advanced testing such as oral bacterial DNA testing can be extremely helpful, as this determines what type and level of bacteria are present. With this information, we can create a customized plan to treat the infection.