Preventing Gum Disease
Adults over the age of 35 lose more teeth to gum disease than from tooth decay (cavities). At least three out of four adults are affected at some time in their life. The best way to prevent decay and periodontal diseases is by daily thorough tooth brushing and flossing techniques and regular professional examinations and cleanings. Unfortunately, even with the most diligent home dental care, people can still develop some form of periodontal disease. Once this disease starts, professional intervention is necessary to prevent its progress.
Other important factors that can negatively affect the health of your gums include: tobacco usage, certain medical conditions, stress, clenching and grinding teeth, some medications, and poor nutrition.
Periodontal Disease & Tobacco
You are probably familiar with the links between tobacco use and lung disease, cancer, and heart disease. Periodontal disease is also heavily linked to tobacco usage. Periodontal disease is more severe in smokers and tobacco-users than those who do not use tobacco. There is a greater incidence of calculus formation on teeth, deeper pockets between gums and teeth, and a 7-times greater risk of tooth loss. In addition, your chance of developing oral cancer increases with the use of tobacco.
Chemicals in tobacco such as nicotine and tar also slow down healing and the affect predictability of success following periodontal treatment. Quitting smoking or other tobacco use can have numerous benefits for your overall and periodontal health.
For more information on Tobacco and Periodontal Disease, please refer to the American Academy of Periodontology’s information page.
Periodontal Disease & Diabetes
People with diabetes are at greater risk for periodontal disease, with an increased risk for tooth loss. and there may exist a two-way relationship between diabetes and periodontal disease. Emerging research now indicates that the relationship may go both ways periodontal disease may make it more difficult for people who have diabetes to control their blood sugar. Treating periodontal disease in diabetic patients may make it easier for these patients to keep their diabetes under better control. More information on diabetes and periodontal disease can be found under The Mouth-Body Connection
Periodontal Disease & Genetics
Many years of research have shown a strong family risk for periodontal disease. In other words, if your parents, grandparents, or siblings have been treated for periodontal disease or lost their teeth at a young age then a periodontal evaluation and possible treatment is recommended.