Dental research has shown that adults over 35 lose more teeth to gum diseases (periodontal disease) than from cavities. Three out of 4 adults are affected by gum disease at some time in their life. The best way to prevent cavities and periodontal disease is by focusing on the aspects of the disease that are controllable like the presence of dental plaque. Daily thorough tooth brushing and flossing and regular professional examinations and cleanings are the beginning of the prevention process. Unfortunately, even with the most diligent home care people can still develop some form of periodontal disease. Once this disease starts, professional intervention is necessary to prevent its progression or to affect repair.
Other important factors that can negatively affect the health of you gums include: tobacco use, stress, clenching and grinding teeth, some medications and poor nutrition.
Periodontal Disease & Tobacco
You are probably familiar with the links between tobacco use and lung disease, cancer and heart disease. Modern studies have now linked periodontal disease with tobacco use. When comparing smokers to non-smokers, periodontal disease is more severe in the smokers and tobacco users. When you smoke there is a greater incidence of calculus formed on the teeth, deeper pockets are created between the gums and teeth, and there is a greater loss of the bone and fibers that hold the teeth in your mouth.
In addition, the use of smokeless tobacco increases your chance of developing oral cancer. Chewing tobacco also contributes to gum recession.
Chemicals in tobacco also slow down healing by reducing the circulation necessary for healing. This lowers the predictability of success following periodontal treatment. Quitting smoking and tobacco use can have numerous benefits for your overall and periodontal health.