​Gum Disease Side Effects – Complications of Poor Oral Health


According to the AAP, periodontal disease is higher in men—56 percent, compared to 38 percent in women—possibly because they are less likely to go to the dentist, where they can take care of issues like dental plaque, tartar, and bleeding earlier.

But with good oral health, your risk of these bacteria-driven issues is much lower, Dr. Natour says. If you don’t have any gum disease or dental problems, you should see your dentist for cleanings and checkups every six months, he suggests.

If you already have some periodontitis—say, you have signs of it, like you spit blood when you brush or floss, or your gums feel inflamed—or you’re more prone to cavities, you’re likely to need a dental visit about every four months.

You’ve heard this one before, too, but it’s worth repeating: Floss daily. We know, no one likes it, but it makes a huge difference, says Dr. Moldovan.

“Recently, I heard a statistic that the average length of floss used per year, per person, is 18 inches,” she adds. “That’s how much you should use in two days.”

Other handy strategies are reducing sugar consumption—Dr. Moldovan says sugar can stick on teeth and become a perfect harbor for bacteria, which can contribute to plaque—as well as swishing your mouth with water after meals and snacks.

Chew gum or mints with artificial sweetener xylitol as well, she advises, since that can help stimulate saliva, which clears bacteria from your mouth more efficiently.

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