October recognizes Dental Hygiene Month, creating a perfect opportunity to educate patients of the intricacies of gum disease progression, while promoting healthy habits which can decrease the risk of developing the condition.
Gum disease results from a bacterial infection in the space between the gums and teeth. This space is an ideal environment for bacteria to accumulate, inevitably causing teeth to retract from the gums. If left untreated, the pockets between the gums and the teeth may extend to the tooth socket, undermining the bone structure, causing additional teeth to be adversely affected.
Shutting the Door on Bacteria
Practicing good oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing to remove surface plaque, as well as routine visits to the dentist for deep cleanings are ideal preventive measures for maintaining optimal oral health. Although, proper oral hygiene is essential, these additional tips can assist in maintaining oral and overall health:
- Quitting smoking or chewing tobacco. Tobacco impedes tissue healing.
- Relaxing more. Stress inhibits the immune system’s ability to fight infection.
- Eating well. Foods rich in nutrients, such as vitamins C and E strengthen the immune system.