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What lifestyle changes should I make if I have periodontitis?

If you have periodontitis, it is important to make dental care a priority in your life. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss regularly. Additionally, attend regular appointments with your dentist for cleanings and treatments for periodontitis.

Steven Bradway
Dentist

Periodontitis is a genetically inherited disease that causes bone loss around patient’s teeth in about 10-25% of the human population. If a patient has periodontitis and if their gums are inflamed they will get bone loss around their teeth. If the inflammation is eliminated with treatment the bone loss will stop; that is the basic nature of the disease. If a patient’s periodontitis is active uncontrolled diabetes or smoking will increase the rate of bone loss. Thus life style suggestions that are important for periodontitis patients are quite smoking and control diabetes if you have it. Smoking and diabetes do not cause periodontitis. If a patient has periodontitis quitting smoking or controlling diabetes may slow the rate of bone loss, but eliminating inflammation in the gum tissue is necessary to stop bone loss. Daily brushing and flossing is essential to help control the inflammation that leads to bone loss, but if the disease is in its active state, brushing and flossing alone will not bring it under control. One of the most important things to understand about periodontitis is that patients cannot feel when their disease is progressing. Successful management of periodontitis requires a good long-term relationship with a dentist, dental hygienist and/or periodontitis to help the patient determine if they have inflammation and help them eliminate it.      

Any lifestyle change you make to improve your oral health can improve your periodontitis, or inflammation of the gums. Brush your teeth between meals with a soft toothbrush and floss daily. Make sure you replace your toothbrush every three to four months. Consider using a dental pick or stick to get between your teeth and a mouth rinse to remove plaque. See your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.