How To Prevent Periodontitis

A major contributor to heart disease and one of the top dental woes in the world, periodontitis is a foe to be reckoned with. In this article I wish to explain what periodontitis is, and what can be done to prevent it.

What Is Periodontitis

Literally, the word periodontitis means inflammation of the tissue around the teeth (form the ancient greek peri-, meaning around, surrounding, dons, meaning teeth, and the suffix -itis, which means ‘disease of’), and that is a marvelously accurate description of what this disease really is. It is an inflammation of the gums, which causes the gums to swell or shrink, but usually to swell. Bleeding and discharge may also result, and the results are not pretty.

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Periodontitis is basically a heightened immune response. You see, the task of the gums is to surround, lubricate and protect the teeth. In an attempt to uphold the third part of this task, the gums try and not let the plaque and tartar get to the teeth. The way the gums do this is by puffing up, and releasing antibodies. This way the plaque that is on the teeth cannot get stuck to the roots of the teeth, which are embedded in the gums. While this is good, as plaque on the cementum or the tooth roots can have extremely unpleasant consequences, this immune response is labelled as a disease for good reason. The constant inflammation of the gums can make them less able to hold teeth, so the teeth can become loose, and may even start falling out. The antibodies sent with the immune responses can also damage your tooth enamel and cause cavitation of the teeth. Less grueling symptoms may include the aforementioned bleeding and discharge, but such minor inconveniences like constant headache and flu like symptoms can also be attributed to periodontitis, as your immunes system is busy fighting off an infection in your mouth constantly, and will thus be overtaxed, letting other bacteria have their day.

How To Prevent It

These are the things you can do to prevent periodontitis from ever forming:

-Floss: Most people do not use dental floss on a regular basis. This is a mistake, it is not a tool for perfect hygiene that can be overlooked, it is a necessary part of at home oral care and the only way to clear out the bacterial colonies that cause periodontitis.

- Professional Hygiene Session: At home oral care is not enough. You need to go twice a year to see a dentist who will remove any extra plaque and tartar that may build up over time. Bacteria can be extremely persistent, and given their tiny size, sometimes dislodging them is a tas dna  half. This is why a dentist is so useful. The first time you go the procedure may take long, but each subsequent time will take less and less effort, and less and less plaque will be removed.

- Mouthwash: Making the mouth inhospitable towards bacteria with the use of mouthwash is one of the easiest and most effective things you can do to prevent periodontitis.

-Brush after every meal: Every time you feel a build up of biofilm in your mouth, you should brush or use mouthwash to break it up. If you do not, the biofilm will turn into plaque, which can cause periodontitis. Biofilm build up makes your spit stickier.

- Chewing Gum: Eating sugar free chewing gum will help pull out food detritus from hard to reach places, removing the bacteria that cause periodontitis. It is extremely effective, quite pleasant and makes you look cool.

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