Preventing Gum Disease
Dental research shows that adults over the age of 35 lose more teeth to gum disease than from cavities, and that gum disease affets at least three out of four adults at some point in their life. The best way to prevent cavities and periodontal disease is to focus on the aspects of the disease that are controllable, like the removal of dental plaque. Daily thorough tooth brushing and flossing techniques, and regular professional examinations and cleanings are the beginning of the prevention process. Unfortunately, even with the most diligent home dental care, people can still develop some form of periodontal disease. Once this disease starts, professional intervention is necessary to prevent its progression or for repair.
Other important factors that can negatively affect gum health health include: tobacco use, stress, clenching and grinding teeth, some medications, and poor nutrition.
Periodontal Disease & Tobacco
Dr. Noraian talks about preventing gum disease by focusing on the controllable factors of your health, and tobacco use is no exception. Dr. Noraian understands that tobacco cessation is not easy, and he will work with your physician on a plan that is best for you. Regardless of what treatment options you consider, recurrence of gum disease is more prevalent if you continue to use tobacco after being successfully treated. You are probably familiar with the links between tobacco use and lung disease, cancer, and heart disease. Modern studies have now linked periodontal disease with tobacco use. When comparing smokers to non-smokers, periodontal disease is much more severe in smokers and tobacco-users. When you smoke, you have a greater incidence of calculus formation on your teeth, creation of deeper pockets between your gums and teeth, and a greater loss of the bone and fibers that hold teeth in your mouth. In addition, your chance of developing oral cancer increases with the use of smokeless tobacco.
Chemicals in tobacco such as nicotine and tar also slow down healing, by reducing the circulation necessary for healing and lowering the predictability of success following periodontal treatment. Quitting smoking and tobacco-use can have numerous benefits for your overall and periodontal health. Most importantly, quitting smoking may save your teeth, allow you to eat the things you love, and smile with confidence.