Besides poor oral hygiene, several factors raise the risk of periodontal disease.
- Smoking/tobacco use
- Medication use, such as oral contraceptives, steroids, such as those used for asthma medications
- Poor nutrition
- Diseases that affect multiple organs, such as diabetes
- Pregnancy and puberty
- Clenching and grinding teeth
- Bridges that no longer fit properly
- Crooked teeth
- Defective fillings
What goes wrong in the mouth?
Preventing periodontal disease may have benefits besides keeping gums and teeth healthy. In gum disease, bacteria can harm the rest of the body, bacteria breaks down the tissues around the tooth. The resulting space becomes a niche where periodontal bacteria can breed. The gums them become inflamed and bleed in an attempt to fight the infection. Yet the greater the swelling and the deeper the space between the teeth and gums, the easier it is for the periodontal bacteria to enter the bloodstream.
Inflamed arteries and blood clots are the hallmarks of heart disease. People with gum disease are almost twice as likely to have coronary artery disease. At the same time, drugs intended to control blood pressure, regulate heart rhythm, and reduce cholesterol levels may make gums more swollen. Gum disease also creates problems for people with diabetes, who are twice as likely to develop the condition. Once they have it, periodontal bacteria makes its way into the bloodstream through tooth brushing and chewing can make it harder to regulate blood sugar levels. When you have a chronic infection in your mouth, it certainly can put you at high risk for infections elsewhere in the body.
Keeping the mouth healthy may indeed, be a worthwhile investment in overall good health.
- Brush your teeth twice a day
- Clean between teeth daily and floss
- Eat a balanced mix of foods and limit in between meal snacks
- Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and exams.
- Avoid sharing toothbrushes and change brushes often
Only brush the teeth you want to keep!