In our last edition we spoke to the common causes and symptoms of gum disease, or periodontitis. In this sequel, we will speak to how you can take easy dental hygiene methods to prevent the growth and spread of oral bacteria. Also, we will speak to how habits, like smoking, can accelerate the growth and spread of periodontitis.
The good news is that the best way to prevent periodontitis is simple, and most likely a process that you conduct twice a day! The classic triad of dental hygiene includes: brushing one’s teeth twice a day, flossing when you brush, and using an antibacterial mouthwash to rinse after you are done. This process is the best way to combat gum disease.
What is key in this triad of dental hygiene is flossing. Brushing is great for removing plaque and bacteria from the surface of your teeth and gums, but it does not have the ability to reach into the more confined spaces of your mouth. Flossing not only removes plaque and bacteria from in between your teeth, but also your gums! Flossing often breaks through the top of your gum tissue to relieve the building bacteria and plaque hidden just below your gumline. Consistently flossing is instrumental to preventing gum disease.
Other habits can contribute to the growth of gum disease, most notably smoking. Smoking is detrimental to your oral health for many reasons but let us just focus on your gums. Smokers tend to have puffy, red gums from the effect of the carcinogens and other unhealthy chemicals inhaled by smoking. As mentioned in our previous article, puffy, swollen, red gums are one of the key symptoms and tell-tale signs of onset gum disease. For smokers, these symptoms can be masked and attributed as normal due to their persistent state of health from smoking.
Outside of distorting your own perceptiveness of your oral health, smoking has been proven to counteract white blood cells and other antibodies from healing the damage from plaque and bacteria. The chemicals from smoking decrease your body’s ability to fight the infection, and repair gum tissue. Due to this, smoking ultimately throws a wrench in your body’s cog of healing.
If you are a smoker, it is not too late to quit! Much of the damage caused by smoking can be healed within 20-30 years, especially among those that are heavy and avid smokers.
Thank you for reading this edition of our online blog! We hope you found the information helpful and useful, and if you enjoyed reading, be sure to leave a comment about what you enjoyed, and what you would like for us to write about next at Innovative Periodontics & Implants!