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  • Hollie Young

Health risks caused by periodontal disease

So what is periodontal disease?

Periodontitis also known more commonly as gum disease, is a serious gum infection that damages the soft tissue and, without treatment, can destroy the bone that supports your teeth. Periodontitis can cause teeth to loosen or lead to tooth loss.

Image by NIH Image Gallery via Copyright-free

What causes periodontal disease?

  • Poor oral hygiene habits such as not brushing and flossing on a daily basis, make it easier for gingivitis to develop.

  • Hormonal changes, such as those occurring during pregnancy, puberty, menopause, and monthly menstruation, make gums more sensitive, which makes it easier for gingivitis to develop.

  • Illnesses may affect the condition of your gums. This includes diseases such as cancer or HIV that interfere with the immune system. Because diabetes affects the body's ability to use blood sugar, patients with this disease are at higher risk of developing infections, including periodontal disease and cavities.

  • Medications can affect oral health, because some lessen the flow of saliva, which has a protective effect on teeth and gums. Some drugs, such as the anticonvulsant medication Dilantin and the anti-angina drug Procardia and Adalat, can cause abnormal growth of gum tissue.

  • Bad habits such as smoking make it harder for gum tissue to repair itself.

  • Family history of dental disease can be a contributing factor for the development of gingivitis.

Periodontal disease doesnt just destroy bone, cause teeth to loosen and cause teeth loss, it can also cause a number of health issues that people may not be aware of...

cardiovascular disease, oral and colorectal cancer, gastrointestinal diseases, respiratory tract infection and pneumonia, adverse pregnancy outcomes, diabetes and insulin resistance, and Alzheimer's disease.

How to prevent periodontal disease

  • brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day – spit after brushing, do not rinse

  • clean in between your teeth every day using floss or interdental brushes

  • replace your toothbrush every 1 to 3 months

  • see a dentist and dental hygienist for regular check-ups, especially if you're pregnant or have type 2 diabetes

Image by Clairemeaker via Copyright-free

Please find this useful video on how an interspace brush works:

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