Where Does Periodontal Disease Come From?
Periodontal disease is a serious condition that can be caused by a number of external and internal factors, including genetics. Rather than dwelling on the factors that they cannot control, Dr. Jazriel Cruz, DDS, is a dentist in Fredericksburg who recommends that his patients focus on the factors that they can do something about.
Some people have a genetic predisposition for periodontal disease. Without running any blood tests, many dentists can determine who falls into this category based on the dental histories of their close relatives and family members. A person with two parents who suffered from gum disease, for example, should consider himself to be at a higher risk for this condition than someone with no family history.
Beyond family history, however, Dr. Cruz says there are a number of factors that are within people’s control. The Fredericksburg dentist says the most obvious cause of periodontal disease is plaque buildup and oral bacteria. Preventing this plaque from building up in the first place is a huge step forward in stopping periodontal disease in its tracks.
So what’s the best way to prevent plaque from building up in the mouth? Dr. Cruz recommends starting with the basics: good oral hygiene. People who brush at least twice a day and floss at least once every single day, preferably at night before bedtime, can significantly cut down on their chances of gum disease. In addition to excellent at-home care, people should also keep up with getting professional cleanings at their dentists’ offices at least once every six months.
Flossing, in particular, is an extremely important factor in the fight against periodontal disease. No matter how good a person brushes, there is always going to be buildup between certain teeth – especially the lower anteriors and the molars. If a person cannot reach the space between those teeth with toothbrush bristles, then floss is the next best tool.
The Fredericksburg dentist recommends that patients floss before they go to bed, specifically, to avoid leaving little bits of food particles in the mouth during the night. The mouth acts as an incubator for bacteria while people sleep, and the bacteria that results from food being left between teeth will multiply over the course of a seven or eight hour period. This is where periodontal disease comes from, explains Dr. Cruz, and it is the main reason why every dentist in Fredericksburg is so adamant that regular flossing is a part of each patient’s nighttime routine.
*Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your healthcare provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with an appropriate healthcare provider.