Symptoms & Treatments of Gum Disease
Gum disease sounds so dirty. Who comes down with that other than homeless people? Surprisingly, many otherwise healthy people have gum disease. It’s an infection marked by swelling and inflammation at the gum line. It can persist for quite a while and eventually lead to periodontitis.
Periodontitis happens when accumulated plaque creates tiny pockets at the gum line, which in turn causes the gum to pull away from the teeth. This loosens the teeth and can eventually cause them to fall out. Worse than that, the infection can destroy your jawbone.
In older people this is the primary cause of tooth loss. As you grow older, you risk for gum disease increases. You see, your gums naturally start to pull away from your teeth in old age because your body’s healing abilities decline. It’s part of the aging process. Once the roots are exposed, they are open to attack by plaque.
But, it doesn’t stop there. Gum disease is often linked closely with a heart attack. Once the bacteria are done destroying your teeth and jawbone, they enter your bloodstream and cause white blood cells to release clotting factors that could cause a heart attack. Ouch. Here’s how to protect yourself.
Change your lifestyle
First things first: change your diet. Don’t go for a quick change. Rather, commit to lifestyle changes. Start with something like Whole 30, which eliminates processed foods and sugar. Take it easy on the sweet fruits, as these are processed as fructose — a type of sugar – in your body. However, some fruits, like berries, contain high amounts of antioxidants that help repair tissues in your body.
Stop smoking. If you’re still puffing on cigarettes, you should know that a study of 12,000 adults showed that smoking quadruples the risk of gum disease. Also, smokers don’t heal quite as quickly after gum surgery.
Keep brushing your teeth, but don’t brush so aggressively. The force you apply isn’t nearly as
important as getting the food particles off your teeth. Spend serious time flossing and consider brushing with a dry brush before using any toothpaste. In fact, some studies show that dry brushing alone can remove more plaque than using a wet brush or toothpaste. At least one study shows that brushing with hot water is more effective than brushing with toothpaste.
According to a Long Island family dentistry practice, there are some methods for treatment and prevention of gum disease that don’t involve invasive surgery or complicates routines. A simple checkup every six months can help prevent gum disease from progressing, for example. Just go in for a simple cleaning. It’s about an hour, and you’ll be helping to stave off infection longterm.
Get more vitamin C in your diet. The equivalent of 1,000 mg of vitamin C every day may help keep gums healthy by supporting the immune system. Calcium is also important for strong bone and tooth formation, but don’t forget about vitamin A, vitamin D, magnesium (which most people are deficient in) and K2 (found only in fermented foods, not green vegetables), as these nutrients are also crucial for good teeth.
Finally, CoQ10 is found in all human cells. It’s required by the body to make ATP – energy for the body. It’s also effective for decreasing inflammation and bleeding of gums.
Article by Robert Ander. Ander’s dental career spans decades. After recently retiring from his practice, he greatly enjoys writing about his experience and insight into oral hygiene.