Let’s be honest for a minute – how often do you visit your dentist? Are you using floss every day? Are you brushing your teeth at least two times per day? Gum diseases are a common form of chronic diseases in general and it’s considered for this to be a condition affecting 98% of people older than 60 years of age. Diet rich in refined sugar is definitely one of the main risks for such conditions, with inadequate oral health care to follow.
Gingivitis or periodontitis?
Generally speaking, gum diseases are gum inflammations which can also affect other tissues which act as supports for the teeth. Main cause is accumulation of food segments, saliva and bacteria on the edge of teeth, which makes plaque. Pockets of this plaque is constantly added up to as you eat, with new bacteria reaching into the tiny crevices in between teeth and surrounding tissues. These little pockets and all the matter that surrounds it creates a fertile base for multiplication of bacteria which were present from before. Consummation of sugar increases saliva excretion and prevents defensive mechanisms from kicking in. In the earliest phase of gum disease, known as gingivitis, pain, swelling and redness occurs, sometimes even bleeding. Lack of vitamins, medications, disturbances in functions of glands as well as blood disorders make us susceptible to gingivitis.
Symptoms of gum disease include red and swollen gums, susceptible to frequent bleeding, localized pain, fragile teeth and bad breath. There’s a rule which states that smokers are more than doubly exposed to risk of gum disease in comparison to non-smokers. Other risk groups are diabetics, leukemia patients, Crohn disease patients and pregnant women. Studies have shown that specific types of bacteria are attracted to certain hormones, which is something pregnant woman and woman who are taking anti-pregnancy pills should take into account. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy can also increase the risk of gum disease, as well as exposure to metals such as mercury.
Foods rich in fiber protect your gums
If you include a higher amount of fiber into your diet, not only that you will maintain your digestive system in good order, lower cholesterol and preserve your cardiovascular health, but you will also reduce risk of acquiring gum disease. Sometimes gingivitis is further complicated with environmental factors which your dentist can’t fix – irregular bite, common teeth grinding etc. In cases of aggressive gingivitis, your dentist will first remove all if any dental plaque and then prescribe a mouth wash which contains chlorhexidine. Dentists usually apply same treatment in case of periodontitis, even though surgery is necessary in order to clean all the inflamed parts of the oral cavity and remove dead bone tissue. There’s an abundance of mouthwashes and toothpastes which help to battle with dental plaque, decrease the effect of inflammation and chances for your gum to bleed. It’s recommended to use a home remedy too, in form of half a lemon and a cup of water. By juicing the lemon acid into water and drinking it (with no added sugar of course), the acid will work its way through bacteria and prevent some complications from happening.