Preventing Gum Disease

Did you know that adults over the age of 35 lose more teeth to gum diseases than from cavities? At least three out of four adults are affected at some time in their lives.

The best way to prevent periodontal disease (along with cavities) is by daily brushing and flossing at home while also maintaining a regular schedule with a dental professional for examinations and cleanings. Unfortunately, even with the most diligent dental care, some people may develop a form of periodontal disease. Once it starts, professional treatment by a periodontist is necessary to ensure it does not progress any further.

There are many factors that can negatively affect the health of your gums, which include stress, clenching and grinding your teeth, certain medications, and bad nutrition. The most common and most detrimental, though, is tobacco use.

Periodontal Disease and Tobacco Use

The links between tobacco use and lung disease, cancer, and heart disease are by now widely known. Current studies have, however, now also linked periodontal disease with tobacco usage. In fact, cases of periodontal disease are even more severe in smokers and tobacco users. The formation of calculus on their teeth is greater and develops faster, deeper pockets between their gums and teeth appear, and they have a greater loss of the bone and fibers that hold their teeth in place. In addition, they have a much greater risk of developing oral cancer.

Tobacco contains chemicals such as nicotine and tar, which slow down healing and the success of periodontal treatment or any oral care. Quitting smoking and tobacco use not only has countless benefits for your oral health, but for your overall health as well.

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