What You Need to Know

A brief overview of prevention and the long-term ramifications from the leading gum disease specialist in Princeton.

PREVENTION

The best prevention of periodontal disease is:

  • Brushing daily (2 to 3 times)
  • Flossing daily (2 to 3 times)
  • Regular check-ups and cleanings, as recommended

But it’s not a foolproof approach, in part because other variables play a significant role, too, in your oral health. Smoking, drinking, consuming a poor diet, enduring intense and/or prolonged bouts of stress, even taking certain medications can negatively impact your teeth and gums. As can behavior you’ve become less conscious of, like clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth. Research has also shown that periodontal disease is closely tied to several other diseases, including diabetes and heart disease.

Even if you manage to safeguard yourself against all of that, biological factors that are completely out of your control may predispose you to periodontal disease. Some are genetically more susceptible to gum disease. And in women, fluctuations in hormone levels during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause have been shown to heighten the risk. Treating gingivitis, or gum inflammation, a potential precursor to periodontitis, at its onset during pregnancy is critical because periodontitis has been linked to premature births and low birth weights.