Periodontitis - Safeguard your Teeth
Periodontitis is a gum infection that damages the soft tissue and the bone that supports the teeth, causing the teeth to sometimes become loose and fall out. Periodontitis can also increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other serious health problems. Periodontitis is preventable. Brushing at least twice a day, flossing daily and a regular dental check-up can reduce the risk of developing periodontitis.
Signs and symptoms: Swollen gums, bright red gums, gums that feel tender when touched and pull away from the teeth, new spaces developing between the teeth, pus between the teeth and gums, bad breath or loose teeth
Periodontitis begins with plaque - a sticky film composed mainly of bacteria. Plaque forms on the teeth when starches and sugars in food interact with bacteria in the mouth. Brushing and flossing the teeth removes plaque. But plaque re-forms within 24. hours. The longer the plaque remains on the teeth, the more damage it can do.
Tips to prevent periodontitis
• Brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily. Follow the right technique of brushing -
brush the outside, inside, and chewing surfaces of the teeth.
• Scrape the tongue every morning as the coating accumulates bacteria. Gently brush the
tongue with a soft toothbrush.
• Use a soft toothbrush and replace it when it is frayed every 3-4 months.
• Rinse the mouth regularly with an antibacterial mouthwash, which reduces plaque-
causing bacteria. After eating, rinse the mouth with water.
• Diabetic patients are more likely to develop oral infections and gum disease and need to
monitor their sugar intake carefully.
• Rinsing your mouth with a warm saltwater solution helps kill bacteria and reduce
• Foods with Vitamin C have antioxidants that can promote connective tissue and bone growth. They also boost the body's immune system and fight off bacteria.
Schedule regular dental check-ups at least once a year and have the teeth or dentures examined and cleaned. Consult a dentist immediately if the gums are puffy, dusky red, and bleed easily.