You Can Prevent Gum Diseases From Ravaging Your Dental Health

Dr. James Hallam of Laurentian Dental Centre Kitchener

Dr. James Hallam, Laurentian Dental, Kitchener

The threat of gum (periodontal) disease is a very real and potentially dangerous condition. By the age of 40, some 70% of the Canadian population appears to have some stage of the disease. Doctors generally agree that gum disease is directly related to how well one cares for their teeth and gums.

Keeping your teeth and gums healthy requires just a few basic steps. Brush gently and floss daily to remove plaque from your teeth and gums. Brushing too hard can destroy gum tissue causing the gums to recede, making you more vulnerable to bacterial infection.

Flossing removes bacteria and food particles from in-between teeth. Rinsing with certain mouthwashes also helps. Even rinsing the mouth with water after eating can reduce bacteria by as much as 30 percent.

Graphic illustration of the stages of periodontal disease.

Inflammation of the gums.

Gum disease is particularly dangerous because the progression of the disease is often painless. It is caused by the buildup of plaque on and around the teeth that subsequently calcifies into tartar. This tartar releases bacteria which slowly decays teeth and gums.

In the initial stages of gum disease (known as gingivitis), the bacteria begin to weaken the fibers which hold the gums to the teeth. Gingivitis is characterized by a swelling, inflammation and bleeding of the gums. Advanced periodontal disease (known as periodontitis) is a much more serious condition with warning signs like: persistent bad taste, permanent teeth that are loose or separating; or changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite.

“Gum disease is particularly dangerous because the progression of the disease is often painless.”

The ravages of gum disease are best prevented by early detection, proper hygiene, and a balanced diet. A diet that is low in important nutrients can compromise your body’s immune system and make it harder for your body to fight off infection. Because periodontal disease is a serious infection, poor nutrition can worsen the condition of your gums.

The good news is that gingivitis is reversible with professional treatment and good oral home care. Visit our office twice a year to remove tartar from places brushing and flossing may miss. Eat healthy foods, drink plenty of water, and limit sweets. And, if you’re a smoker, quit.

Remember, regular dental check ups can help stem the advance of gum disease and keep you healthy and smiling.

Yours for better dental health,

Put Your Best Smile Forward!

Visit Laurentian Dental Today for Your Optimal Dental Health.