To obtain optimal dental health, it is critical to understand the importance of periodontal health. In most cases you cannot have one without the other because periodontal health includes everything from the jawbone to the gums and teeth.
When periodontal health is ignored, it can open the door for bacteria and food debris to give way to dental plaque. This plaque can then turn into tartar if it is not removed with good oral hygiene habits. If tartar begins to accumulate, it will cause an individual’s gums to become irritated and inflamed and eventually bleed.
With tooth decay and gum disease being so prevalent, it starkly underlines the importance of periodontal health in a big way.
What Makes Periodontal Health so Important?
The branch of dentistry termed periodontics primarily focuses on the care of structures that support the teeth, such as the gums and jawbone.
One of the reasons the importance of periodontal health is key is because it plays a crucial role in ensuring that a person’s teeth do not fall out due to diseased gums. Periodontal disease is one of the leading causes of tooth loss in adults. The loss of a tooth may result in more than just an atypical smile. It can also result in difficulty eating and speaking, as well as the misalignment of teeth, minimized lip support, and even a collapsed facial profile.
Good periodontal health typically looks like firm gums that are pink in color and that are contoured neatly around every tooth, coming to a bit of a point in between each. People who have good periodontal health and practice good oral hygiene are generally able to keep their teeth longer than those who do not.
Individuals who do not practice good oral hygiene could find that they are diagnosed with periodontal disease, more commonly known as gum disease. When a person’s gums are damaged by one or more bacterial infections and related inflammation, it can cause gingivitis or periodontitis.
Of the two conditions, gingivitis is the more minor one which usually manifests in sensitive, discolored, and bleeding gums. Periodontitis is more serious because it can result in receding of the gums, deep gum pockets, loss of bone in the jawbone, and loose or missing teeth. Some studies are even indicating there could be a potential connection between periodontal disease and other conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and dementia.
For most people, the importance of periodontal health is maintaining and keeping their teeth so they can smile with confidence and know that they are doing what they can to protect against tooth and jawbone loss.
Ways to Take Better Care of Your Periodontal Health
There are steps you can actively take to better protect your periodontal health at home. These are not limited to but can include:
- Brushing your teeth gently twice a day, once in the morning and again in the evening
- Flossing regularly in an effort to remove the buildup of tartar and plaque on the gumline
- Using mouthwash as an added method of killing harmful bacteria inside the mouth
- Avoiding risky habits such as smoking as that can substantially increase the likelihood of developing periodontitis
- Eating a healthy diet with an emphasis on fruits, vegetables, legumes, and omega-3 fatty acids which work together to aid in the suppression of inflammation while delivering essential nutrients
- Monitoring your personal oral health and looking for signs of trouble such as irritated or bleeding gums, gums pulling away from the teeth, and/or developing pockets of pus
- Keeping regular six-month checkup appointments with your dentist for professional cleanings and monitoring
- Scheduling interim appointments with a dentist if you notice any warning signs of periodontal disease
Those who wish to better protect their oral health at home should follow the above recommendations closely, carefully, and regularly. Making them part of your daily oral health care routine is key to periodontal health.
Despite your best efforts of practicing good oral hygiene at home, it is possible for you to miss some areas or for a problem to still develop. This is why it is vital for you to visit the dentist’s office every six months for a thorough, professional cleaning and exam. Individuals that are found to be more prone to developing plaque may require professional dental attention more often than this.
The importance of periodontal health goes far beyond the cosmetic realm of simply protecting against tooth loss that will show when you smile. Proper care of your dental health will help you protect against tooth misalignment, the loss of bone in the jawbone, minimized lip support, and even a collapsed profile that can dramatically age your appearance.
If you suspect an issue with your gums, make an appointment with a reputable Houston dentist to make your periodontal health a priority.