Did you know gum infections (periodontal diseases) play a cardinal role in your general well-being? Many studies have proved that periodontal diseases increase your risk of developing cardiovascular problems, diabetes and even adverse pregnancy outcomes. Severe gum infections trigger low levels of inflammation in the bloodstream and the body. Gum disease (Gingivitis) and periodontitis are two common culprits. Let’s look at the difference between these problems and, most importantly, how to prevent them.
What Is Gingivitis?
Have you ever spotted redness, swelling, or a touch of bleeding when you brush or floss? Those are tell-tale symptoms of gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease. The primary cause of gingivitis is the accumulation of plaque—a sticky film of bacteria—on your teeth. When plaque isn’t promptly removed through proper dental care practices, it can harden into tartar, providing an ideal spot for bacteria to proliferate This bacterial invasion triggers inflammation in the gums, leading to the onset of gingivitis.
What Is Periodontitis?
If gingivitis is left unchecked, it can escalate into periodontitis, a more severe and advanced stage of gum disease. Periodontitis involves the inflammation of the gums and the supporting structures of the teeth, including the bone. As the infection intensifies, gum tissue pulls away from the teeth and forms spaces or pockets, a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. Symptoms of periodontitis include persistent bad breath, receding gums, changes in the bite, and, in severe cases, loose teeth. The inflammatory response triggered by the bacteria can extend beyond the oral cavity, affecting overall health.
How Can I Prevent Gingivitis?
Preventing gingivitis requires consistent and effective oral care habits. Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, paying particular attention to the gumline. Flossing is crucial to remove plaque and debris from between teeth where your toothbrush might not reach. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings further fortify your defences against bacteria. It’s also important to compliment your diligent oral hygiene routine with a balanced diet. Nutrient-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, and dairy products provide essential vitamins and minerals that support your immune system and help fend off gingivitis. Limiting sugary snacks and beverages can also reduce the risk of plaque formation.
How Can I Combat Periodontitis?
Once periodontitis sets in, patients need a multi-faceted approach to treatment. Professional dental intervention is crucial, including deep cleaning procedures like scaling and root planing. This process removes tartar and smoothens root surfaces, helping the gums reattach to the teeth. In more severe cases, a patient may require surgical procedures to repair damaged tissues and reduce pocket depths. Your dental specialists may also prescribe antibiotics to control bacterial infection. Although you should never hesitate to approach a dentist for help, prevention remains the most potent weapon against periodontitis.
You have the power to stop gum disease in its tracks with regular brushing and flossing and enjoying a healthy diet. Limit sugary and acidic foods, and if you’re a smoker, quit the habit for good. Tobacco use is a significant risk factor for periodontal diseases. Regular dental check-ups are invaluable because they highlight any potential concerns before they become problems. Early detection and intervention are your best defences against gingivitis and periodontitis.
At Family Dental Care, our periodontics will take care of your inflamed gums and your overall oral health. We pride ourselves in putting our patients first and providing the best care by the best dentists using the best materials and equipment. Our team also understands that dental health is about more physical health – it’s also about managing dental stress and anxiety. Remember, addressing periodontal diseases early will prevent complications before they become invasive. Contact us today and let our caring and experienced dentists restore your gums to health!