If you brush and floss your teeth like you should, you might be wondering what else you can feasibly do at home to ward off the onset of periodontal disease. However, since the health of your mouth is tied to the health of your body, making a few changes can help you to avoid this serious oral disease. Here are three interesting ways to prevent periodontal disease.
- Hit the Gym
When you exercise, you increase circulation throughout your entire body, rushing nutrients and protective white blood cells where they need to go. As a result, all kinds of health threats are reduced when you exercise, including gingivitis and periodontal disease.
In fact, one study showed that non-smokers had a 55% lower risk of developing periodontal disease if they exercised at least 3 times a week over the course of 10 years.
While the mechanisms of this reduced risk level are still being studied, researchers suspect that part of the benefit may stem from healthier lifestyle habits, since daily exercise is commonly considered a keystone habit that paves the way for other healthy life choices, such as visiting your dentist regularly and avoiding cigarettes.
Exercise also naturally reduces inflammation, which causes all kinds of problems in the mouth. When bacteria are present, the gum tissue responds by becoming inflamed and rushing fluids to the area. This reaction can cause redness, tenderness, and swelling, which can permanently damage the gum tissue. Because people who regularly exercise experience less inflammation, they can keep their gum tissue healthy for the long haul.
- Change Your Diet
Sometimes, people think that they can eat whatever they want and then tidy up their smiles by brushing and flossing afterward. While daily oral hygiene routines are important for healthy teeth, they can’t correct an onslaught of poor eating habits.
For instance, if you find yourself constantly sipping on soda throughout the day, the citric acid and sugars in that sparkling beverage can soften the dental enamel covering your teeth, making it easier for oral bacteria to create cavities and move under the gum tissue. Frequent snacking can also be a problem since it creates a steady food source for oral bacteria.
However, by focusing on eating a healthy diet, you can prevent periodontal disease. In fact, some foods are especially helpful in preventing gingivitis — which can lead to periodontal disease — since they contain nutrients and minerals that fight infections and bacteria.
For instance, studies have shown that regularly drinking green tea can reduce periodontal pocket depth and gum bleeding because the protective antioxidant catechin is found in the beverage. Consuming a small amount of cheese after a meal can help to curb additional hunger cravings while simultaneously returning the mouth to a normal pH. Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, such as wild salmon and extra virgin olive oil, also reduce inflammation, keeping the gum tissue healthier.
If you are concerned about warding off periodontal disease, do what you can to improve your diet. Avoid sweet, starchy foods, and try to limit snacking as much as possible. Instead of consuming sweetened beverages, opt for water or green tea to hydrate your smile while fighting bacteria.
- Get Your Smile Straightened
You might want to straighten your teeth to achieve a movie-star smile, but getting your teeth aligned can be just as helpful to your dental health as it is for your overall appearance. When the teeth are tipped and crooked, food grime is more likely to get stuck between gaps and extra dental contacts. Over time, these areas can become inflamed or infected, creating problems like gingivitis.
Crooked teeth are also more difficult to clean properly, since you may not be able to brush and floss all the parts of your mouth effectively. For instance, while you may easily be able to run a toothbrush over a gap in the teeth, spots that are especially crowded may have sections where the teeth are touching so closely that you can’t clean them.
On the other hand, having your teeth straightened with professional orthodontic care can make it possible to keep your teeth healthy. After a consultation, dentists can talk with you about the right orthodontic treatment for your smile and apply braces, clear aligners, or even palatal expanders to create an even, attractive smile. The result is teeth that are easy to keep clean and healthy, saving you time and money down the road.
If you have crooked teeth, talk with your dentist about how the current alignment of your smile is impacting the health of your gum tissue. If you have areas that are inflamed or reddened or that contain gingival pockets, consider orthodontic care as soon as possible.
While you can do a lot to prevent periodontal disease at home, regular dental appointments are crucial for avoiding the onset of gingivitis. Here at Apollo Dental Center, we are dedicated to making dental care easy for families, whether you need help with ongoing periodontal disease or your child needs a dental checkup before school starts. Contact us today to schedule your next round of appointments.