When you see those toothpaste commercials on TV, you often hear about how they are the #1 plaque and germ fighter, and the best defense against gingivitis. Some may know what plaque and gingivitis are, but there are those who need a refresher course in proper oral health care.

Gingivitis is a form or periodontal disease. The name itself means, ‘gum inflammation’. Periodontal disease is a disease that attacks the gums and supporting tissues around the teeth, which can ultimately lead to infections, tooth loss, and other serious conditions.

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease (gingivitis), has many causes, some of which include:

  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Hormonal changes brought on by pregnancy
  • Systemic infections (body-wide infections)
  • Uncontrolled or poorly controlled diabetes

Although there are some causes of gum disease that you cannot control (misaligned teeth or pregnancy), you can fight off gum disease by following a few simple tips to overall physical and oral health.

You can help prevent gum disease by brushing and flossing daily. Brush after every meal to prevent the buildup of food and bacteria on the teeth, and floss twice per day to remove the food that can get stuck between the teeth and along the gums. Diabetics can fight off gum disease and other serious medical conditions by making sure to stay in control of their diabetes. If you are a diabetic, you need to make and keep scheduled visits to a qualified endocrinologist. Take your medications, eat an appropriate diet, and exercise regularly.

While some systemic infections are caused by contact with other people who are infected, you can protect yourself from full body infections, and the consequential periodontal infection. Take care to wash your hands, steer clear of people who are obviously sick, wear the proper clothing and equipment (where required to prevent exposure to bio-hazards), and visit a doctor as soon as you begin to feel sick.

To help fight gum disease, one of the best things you can do is visit a qualified dentist in Normal. A skilled and experienced dental professional will provide you with high quality dental care using treatments and procedures that will clean and protect your teeth and gums. To learn more about the types of periodontal diseases, as well as how to prevent and treat them, contact Dr. Mike Milligan and his friendly dental team at Eastland Dental Center to make an appointment.

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