Daily brushing and flossing paired with routine dental check-ups are fundamental to a healthy mouth. But are these things enough? According to the American Academy of Periodontology, there are five other things you can do to reduce your risk for periodontal disease, or advanced gum disease. If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss. Plus, gum disease affects your overall health, so taking steps to prevent this condition helps you stay happy and healthy.
At Evanson DDS, we recommend taking the AAP’s advice and following these five tips to promote healthy teeth and gums:
Eat the Right Foods
It’s no secret that eating a balanced diet is an essential part of living a healthy lifestyle. Getting the proper nutrients keeps your body energized and running effectively. Certain foods also promote healthy teeth and gums, including those containing omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and vitamin D.
We suggest including low-fat cheese, plain yogurt, leafy greens, apples, carrots, celery, and almonds in your diet. These foods are shown to keep teeth healthy and strong while reducing the chance of developing periodontal disease.
While working out is obviously geared toward maintaining a healthy weight, it can also reduce your risk for gum disease. A study published in the Journal of Periodontology found that people with higher levels of physical fitness – those who maintained a healthy weight with weekly exercise – had a lower incidence of severe periodontal disease than people who skipped working out.
Lower Your Stress Level
High stress levels impact gum health in two ways. First, chronic stress makes your cortisol levels rise. This hormone reduces the effectiveness of some bodily functions in favor of others as a natural fight-or-flight response. This survival mechanism is designed to occur only in short-term, life-threatening situations. When you’re in a state of chronic stress, high cortisol levels can intensify the destruction of your gums and bones, which may lead to periodontal disease.
Second, people who experience higher stress levels are often strapped for time and therefore more likely to neglect basic oral hygiene tasks. There are only so many nights you can skip brushing and flossing before the neglect begins to take its toll on your teeth and gums.
Smoking isn’t just the leading cause of lung and heart disease in America – it’s also a major risk factor for developing periodontal disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains that tobacco users are twice as likely to have gum disease as people who don’t smoke cigarettes or use chewing tobacco.
Smoking weakens your immune system, making it harder for your body to fight off a growing gum infection. Then, once the tissues in your mouth are damaged, smoking makes them take longer to heal. In fact, treatments that work well for nonsmokers may be ineffective for people who smoke.
Get Yearly Physicals
Gum disease is linked with a surprising number of other chronic inflammatory health problems, including heart disease, coronary artery disease, and diabetes. Annual checkups from your doctor ensure early diagnosis of these conditions, which draw attention to the treatments your gums may need.
Treating an inflammatory disease can benefit gum health, and treating periodontal disease can help decrease inflammation elsewhere in your body. It’s a win-win situation that can only occur if you make doctor and dentist visits a priority.
Promote Healthy Teeth and Gums with a Visit to Evanson DDS
These five tips are great ways to promote good dental and overall health, but routine dental visits remain a fundamental part of maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Whether you suspect you have gum disease or it’s simply time for your next checkup, call our Parker office today at (720) 409-0008 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Evanson.Leave a reply →