Three Lifestyle Changes Your Periodontist Wants You To Make To Reduce The Chance Of Gum Disease

The Department of Health reports that just under 23% of Australians have moderate to severe gum disease. A periodontist is a dental specialist who treats gum disease. With the end of the year looming, there are several things you can do now to reduce your odds of needing periodontist visits next year. Here are three lifestyle changes that periodontists recommend you do to enhance the health of your gums.

Quit Smoking

Why wait until January to make the New Year resolution of quitting smoking when you can do it now to get a headstart on your body's recovery? Smoking affects your gums in two different ways:

  1. The nicotine in cigarettes reduces the amount of blood which flows through your mouth. Compared to a non-smoker, smokers are twice as likely to get gum disease. These odds increase the longer you smoke and the more you smoke.
  2. Once gum disease takes hold, it is harder for your body to fight back because nicotine affects your immune system.

The sooner you quit smoking, the happier your oral health will be.

Healthy Diet

It is easy to get carried away with unhealthy food and alcohol choices since it is the season of endless parties. However, treats must be eaten in moderation if you wish to preserve the health of your gums. For example, an excess of sweet treats means the bacteria in your mouth has more food. Bacteria then becomes plaque which then becomes dental cavities when untreated. Plaque along the gum line attacks the gums and leaves them red, swollen or bleeding. You then need a periodontist to treat the gum disease. Make sure you include plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables among your end of year celebrations. Your teeth (and your waistline) will thank you.

Reduce Stress

Stress has a big presence in life at this time of year. Between organising gifts, children finishing up at school and the normal day-to-day living requirements, there are not many who can say that their stress levels are not elevated. Stress plays an impact on the health of your gums because stress reduces your immune system's ability to fight back. This means when bacteria starts to attack, your body is not as effective at stopping the attack. Take time out every day to relax and recharge so that your immune system remains fighting strong.

If you do develop gum disease, a periodontist can help to repair the damage. But, by making these three lifestyle changes, you increase your odds of having healthy gums for years to come.