Did you know that gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, affects nearly 80% of the American population? That means that within the typical family of five, all but one are inflicted with this irreversible infection of the gums. While it is true that there is no cure for the condition, it is a disease that can largely be prevented and avoided through the adoption of healthy habits and regular hygiene practices.
Here are five of the easiest and most effective strategies proven to stop periodontal disease before it starts.
1. Say no to tobacco
From cancer to cardiovascular disease, emphysema to lung disease, the health risks associated with smoking and tobacco use are seemingly endless. Gum disease is also a common side effect of this unhealthy habit, as recent studies have shown it to be the most significant factor contributing to the onset of periodontal problems. Stay away from tobacco products of all kinds for the health of your entire body – gums included. If you currently do smoke, contact your doctor for strategies to help you quit.
2. Stress less
Many people underestimate the negative effects associated with stress, yet scientific research continues to support a link between poor health and high stress levels. In fact, because stress inhibits the body’s ability to fight infections, highly stressed individuals are more prone to the onset of inflammatory diseases, including that of gum disease. Combatting the stress of daily life is hard in today’s high-pressure, overly competitive society, however the benefits of doing so are great. Explore relaxation techniques like meditation and yoga to ease daily anxiety. Try adopting a regular exercise routine. Limit caffeine and alcohol consumption. Whatever method allows you to minimize the impact of stress, use it.
3. Brush, floss, and rinse daily
The simplest strategy for fighting off gum disease is adopting and maintaining a regular oral hygiene habit. Brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes and flossing between your gums once a day are the cornerstones of a quality dental care routine. In addition, using an interdental mouth rinse certified with the ADA’s Seal of Acceptance can further improve your ability to prevent the growth of gum disease-causing bacteria.
4. Eat a healthy, balanced diet
A nutritious and wholesome diet is yet another tactic for successfully stopping periodontal disease and gingivitis before it starts. Since gum disease is a type of inflammatory ailment, eating foods proven to fight inflammation can help prevent its onset. Try adding foods high in anti-inflammatory properties to your daily diet, such as tomatoes, dark leafy greens, olive oil, almonds, walnuts, fatty fishes including salmon, mackerel, and sardines, and fruits including blueberries, strawberries, cherries, and oranges.
5. See your dentist regularly
Periodontitis is a direct result of the bacteria growth associated with lingering plaque left on the surface of teeth and between the gum line. Regular brushing and flossing can successfully remove the majority of this detrimental debris and build-up, but it cannot get rid of it all. Regular, biannual visits to the dentist that include deep cleaning treatments will achieve the quality plaque removal that your everyday oral hygiene habits just can’t achieve.