Dr Petros Moschouris, Specialist Periodontist at dental and orthodontic London practice elleven shares her top tips
1. Stress contributes to gum disease
Stress doesn't just spoil your mood, it can also spoil your smile. Heightened stress levels can affect gum disease, making the infection harder to fight. It is often been found that patients going through a difficult time suffer more severely from gum disease, and those who are most stressed are at a higher risk of developing gum disease. This is thought to be related to the fact that stress depresses the immune system, making you more prone to gum disease. Practising mindfulness, taking a yoga class or even just curling up with a good book once a day will all help calm you down and boost your immunity.
2. Grapefruit can help fight gum disease
Did you know that eating two grapefruits a day can help tackle gum disease? A study by the British Dental Journal concluded that a daily consumption of grapefruit can reduce gum bleeding for those who suffer from gum disease. Participants in the study also showed an increase in their Vitamin C levels. The antioxidant effect of Vitamin C aids the repair of gums, so if you are not a fan of grapefruit any fruit rich in Vitamin C will probably do the job too.
3. Gum disease is hereditary
Unfortunately, genetics are a detrimental factor for some patients’ susceptibility to gum disease. According to research, as many as 30 per cent of people may be at risk genetically from gum disease and can be six times more likely to contract it, regardless of how good their oral health routine is. This is due to their body responding faster to the presence of dental plaque and bacteria. But here is the good news - just because you are genetically more likely to suffer from gum problems, it does not mean that you will definitely be affected by it, or suffer from it as severely as other family members may have, but it does mean that you must take extra care to keep those gums in tip top condition. Make sure that you brush your teeth at least twice daily, floss regularly and use a fluoride mouthwash.
4. Gum disease is more common than tooth decay
Gum disease is extremely common, one of the most common diseases in the world, with more than half of people over the age of 30 having had some form of periodontal disease at least once. It can happen at any age, although it is very rare for gum disease to occur to a significant degree in children. Gum disease is more common than tooth decay and is the number one cause of tooth loss amongst adults, even more reason to keep your oral hygiene routine up to scratch.
5. Chewing gum can help prevent gum disease
Chewing sugar-free gum after meals not only helps protect your teeth but your gums too. Gum chewing helps the mouth to produce saliva, which flushes out food residue. It also brings high levels of natural antibodies to the mouth tissue to help fight off plaque. It is best to chew gum after meals and snacks, but don’t let chewing gum replace brushing and flossing and always make sure it’s sugar-free!
For more health advice pick up the latest copy of Yours