In part one of this two-part blog series, we looked at some basics on gum disease and why it's so important to prevent. Gum disease may start out relatively minor in most cases, but it can quickly develop into a serious condition that risks not only your oral health, but also your general health as well.
At Hillfield Pediatric & Family Dentistry, we're happy to provide a variety of dental services for all your family's needs, from general dentistry solutions through preventive dentistry, oral surgery and several other types. What are some important recommendations we make to clients on preventing gum disease from ever becoming a problem? Here are several.
Some people wonder why fluoride is really important, and one of the top reasons is that it can significantly help to prevent gum disease. How does it do this? By strengthening the tooth enamel, which helps to protect your teeth against the bacteria that cause gum disease.
You'll find fluoride in many community water supplies, and we often recommend topical fluoride treatments as well. This additional fluoride protection can be very helpful, particularly for those who may be at a higher risk for gum disease due to other factors (which we'll discuss next).
Smoking is terrible for your oral health in many ways, but one of the most significant is its impact on gum disease. Studies have shown that smokers are up to six times more likely to develop periodontal disease than nonsmokers.
Not only does smoking make it harder for your gums to fight off infection, but it also decreases blood flow to the gums, which can further hamper the healing process. If you smoke and are concerned about your gum health, quitting is one of the best things you can do.
Diet is another important factor in preventing gum disease. A diet high in sugar provides the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive, and this can lead to an increased risk of gum disease.
On the other hand, a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables can actually help to protect your gums. These foods contain antioxidants and other nutrients that help to keep your gums healthy.
In addition, avoiding hard and crunchy foods can also help to prevent gum disease. These foods can damage your teeth and make them more susceptible to infection.
Finally, if you have diabetes, it's important to keep it under control. Diabetes can damage the blood vessels and reduce blood flow to the gums, which can make it more difficult for them to fight off infection.
In addition, people with diabetes are more likely to develop infections in general, which can also increase the risk of gum disease. If you have diabetes, be sure to work with your doctor to keep it under control and to monitor your gum health closely.
These are just a few of the most important things you can do to prevent gum disease. Of course, regular dental checkups and cleanings are also essential for keeping your gums healthy.
For more on this, or to learn about any of our family dental care services, speak to the team at Hillfield Pediatric & Family Dentistry today.