Did you know that daily brushing alone may not prevent dangerous bacteria from growing in your mouth?
According to the Journal of Periodontology, your diet can be part of the problem. People who consumed less than 60 mg per day of vitamin C were 25% more likely to have gum disease than people who get 180 mg or more.
If not properly removed daily, this bacteria can lead to gum (periodontal) disease, which can lead to the destruction of your gums, roots, and finally the bone surrounding them. This can lead to irreversible damage and bone loss.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Causes of Periodontal Disease
The early stage of periodontal disease is called gingivitis. Gingivitis is caused when the sticky plaque bacteria that form are not properly removed from your teeth each day. Your gum tissue can become irritated and inflamed, which can cause your gums to separate from the teeth. This leaves an opening for the bacteria to move deeper below the gumline where it continues to irritate your gums and can begin to cause.
Smoking weakens your body’s immune system, which makes it harder for your body to fight off the bacteria that causes gum disease and for any damage that occurs, from it, to heal.
Can periodontal disease be stopped?
Yes, if caught in this early stage it is treatable and reversible. Periodontal disease symptoms can be treated by your dental office. It may only take more regular professional cleaning appointments and proper brushing and flossing daily. Even if you brush and floss regularly, you may not remove the hardened plaque around your gumline.
Dr. Bertolini also evaluates your gum health during your comprehensive examination during your visit. This is why maintaining regular cleaning appointments in the dental office is so important.
If you are a smoker, quitting helps your gums heal faster after your treatment.
Early Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
How do you know if you have periodontal disease? The earlier you discover symptoms the easier it will be to stop/ reverse the disease.
Signs and symptoms of early periodontal disease:
- gums that are red, inflamed, sensitive
- gums that bleed easily when you brush or floss
- gum recession (gums pulling away from your teeth)
- bad breath and taste in your mouth
How to Prevent Periodontal Disease
The best prevention of periodontal disease is to brush and floss daily, get your recommended dental cleanings and exam, and be sure to get the recommended 180 mg daily of vitamin C.
So how can you be sure you get at least 180 mg of vitamin C in your daily diet? It is actually not as hard as you might think. To help you, we’ve created a chart to show that you have a variety of options to easily exceed your vitamin C goal. Foods high in vitamin C include:
Note: If you are getting your two to three servings of fruit per day along with your three to five servings of vegetables, you are most likely getting enough dietary vitamin C. If you are worried, adding a serving of fresh leafy greens will provide you with over one-third of the requirement in one sitting. (Always remember that one isolated nutrient can be studied scientifically very well but other factors that we do not yet understand fully also play an important role in your overall health. It may also benefit you to read up on the Gut Microbiota and Biome, which we will discuss in our next blog post.) To your health!
How does vitamin C keep your gums healthy?
Your body needs adequate vitamin C to:
- strengthen your bones and blood vessels
- anchor your teeth into your gums
- form the intercellular cement your body needs for growth, tissue repair and wound healing
- strengthen weakened gum tissue and make it more resistant to penetration by disease-causing bacteria.
Click the links to view videos of the proper technique of brushing or flossing.
Foods high in vitamin C in combination with proper brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups are the best way to achieve your optimal oral health and overall well-being.