Preventing Gum Disease
Forty-seven percent of Americans will be afflicted with periodontal disease by age 30, with most unaware they have it. The best way to prevent cavities and periodontal disease is by proper, thorough oral hygiene techniques and regular dental examinations and cleanings. Unfortunately, even with the most diligent oral hygiene, some people will still develop 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:
- Tongue/lip piercings
- Clenching and grinding
- Certain medications
- Poor nutrition
Periodontal Disease & Tobacco
You are probably familiar with the links between tobacco use and lung disease, cancer, and heart disease. Research has also linked risk and severity of periodontal disease with tobacco usage. There is a greater incidence of calculus formation on teeth, gum recession, deeper pockets between gums and teeth, and a greater loss of the bone and fibers that hold teeth in your mouth. In addition, your chance of developing oropharyngeal cancer increases with the use of smokeless tobacco.
Chemicals in tobacco such as nicotine and tar also slow down healing and the predictability of success following periodontal treatment. Quitting smoking and tobacco-use can have significant benefits for your overall and periodontal health.