Many American adults suffer from periodontal disease, and some are not aware that it is a serious oral condition that can impact their overall health. Fortunately, periodontal disease is reversible if caught and treated in the early stages. However, prevention is always preferable to treatment.
The dental team at Meadowbrook Dental Care in Mineola, New York, can diagnose and treat periodontal disease with great results. But our dentists would prefer to help you learn more about preventing and avoiding periodontal disease altogether.
How does periodontal disease begin?
All gum diseases, including periodontal disease, begin with a buildup of plaque. Most often, this buildup occurs because of improper or infrequent oral care at home. This plaque buildup leads first to gingivitis, which is the mild state of periodontal disease. At this state, the condition can be reversed with plaque removal, cleaning, and treatment.
Smoking also increases your risk of periodontal disease, as well as certain health conditions like HIV or diabetes. Even some medications can create periodontal problems by reducing the amount of saliva in your mouth. Hormonal changes can also contribute to periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease can often occur without any pain or cause for alarm. The common signs of periodontal disease include:
Constant bad breath
Experiencing pain while chewing or eating
Gums that have pulled back from the teeth
Swollen, tender gums
Teeth that feel loose or sensitive
How does periodontal disease affect my overall health?
Periodontal disease can often affect more than just your oral health. Studies by The Mayo Clinic reveal that several health conditions and diseases are linked to periodontal disease. Among these are respiratory disease, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, and coronary artery disease.
Other studies are ongoing in order to provide more concrete evidence of these links. But infections in the mouth can easily enter the bloodstream and be carried throughout the body, causing other health problems.
How can I prevent periodontal disease?
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent periodontal disease — which is much easier than dealing with worse oral issues in the future. Here are some of the best tips for preventing gum disease:
Practice good oral hygiene
Brush at least twice a day for at least two minutes
Floss at every brushing or at least once a day
Keep regular dentist appointments with Meadowbrook Dental Care for cleanings and exams every 6-12 months
Stop smoking, especially if you have other risk factors for periodontal disease
Call today to arrange your next visit with Meadowbrook Dental Care that includes a comprehensive consultation and cleaning. Our talented dentists can answer your questions about periodontal disease and your oral health.