Taking good care of your smile requires doing some things consistently, like brushing your teeth twice and flossing at least once every day. However, it’s just as much about what you don’t do, and without realizing it, you may be putting your smile at risk even if you do take consistently good care of it. For example, eating too much sugar every day can weaken your teeth even if you brush and floss them every day. Likewise, things like smoking or chewing tobacco and avoiding routine dental visits can also lead to increased risks of conditions that cause tooth loss, such as severe periodontal disease.
Stop neglecting your checkups and cleanings
Checkup and cleaning appointments are the professional version of cleaning your teeth and gums at home every day. It takes professional cleaning equipment to remove calcified plaque from your teeth surfaces and along your gum line, which could otherwise allow oral bacteria to lead to serious trouble. For example, if you skip an appointment, the bacteria hidden inside of tartar will continue attacking your gums until gum disease develops. When this occurs, the disease can systematically destroy the gums and jawbone structure, which is what makes gum disease the leading cause of adult tooth loss.
Stop smoking/chewing tobacco
Every form of tobacco is extremely hazardous to your health, and its use is a significant risk factor in several chronic, potentially fatal diseases (including cancer and cardiovascular disease). It’s also a guarantee that you’ll experience more complex oral health issues, including severe gum disease and the potential for tooth loss. Even after treating your gum disease, the continued use of tobacco will make it more difficult for your gums to heal, and can exacerbate the damage that it does to your underlying oral structures. The best way to avoid such risks to both your oral and overall health is to give up the habit completely, as soon as possible.
Stop ignoring the small warning signs
Another common mistake is to ignore signs that warn of you of things like gum disease, but that don’t seem like an immediate concern at the moment. For example, when you brush and floss your teeth, you might notice spots of blood mixed in with your saliva. Or, you may notice that some areas of your gums seem to be “sagging,” or pulling away from your teeth slightly. These signs may not be accompanied by discomfort, which can make them seem minor. However, ignoring them will only lead to more extensive damage to your teeth’s supportive structures.
Start minimizing your risks for tooth loss
Tooth loss might seem inevitable, but with a few small changes, you can significantly improve your chances of avoiding it. For more information, schedule a consultation with Dr. Kania by calling her periodontal office in Encinitas/San Diego, CA, at (760) 642-0711.