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THE PREVENTION OF GUM DISEASES

GUM DISEASE CAN BE PREVENTED

Gum problems can come with poor oral hygiene. The accumulation of saliva and food residues can promote the growth of bacteria and microorganisms in the gums, leading to the development of periodontal and gingival diseases.

Common Gum Disorders

Gingivitis is the most common gum disease where the inflammation causes the gums to swell, appear red, and tender.

The build-up of plaques in the teeth and in the gums results to infection and bleeding. Besides poor oral hygiene, the use of anabolic steroids can also cause the enlargement of the gums. Another common disorder is the recession of the gums from the tooth’s surface causing the exposure of the dental neck. This causes the teeth to become sensitive from external stimuli called root sensitivity. The slightest cold sensation, for example, can bring intense pain to the teeth and cause severe discomfort. Note that gum disease is the most common cause why adults in the United States lose their teeth.

Knowing Healthy Gums

Some people may think that as long as their gums are not bleeding or their teeth are still well intact, they have healthy gums. But knowing whether your gums are healthy or not, needs more than just superficial evidence and self-diagnosis. The first stages of gum disorder may be happening where your eyes can’t see it. It’s always best to consult your dentist regularly to check for any signs of unhealthy gums. In terms of color, healthy gums are coral pink. Blue, white or reddish gums, on the other hand, may signify inflammation. But the color of the gums can also vary depending on one’s race and may thus appear darker due to pigmentation. The better way of telling whether your gums are healthy is to check if the color is uniform rather than by looking at the general color alone.

Healthy gums also have that smooth appearance and holds tightly to each tooth. The appearance of the margins of an unhealthy gum will tend to look rolled and puffy. The texture of healthy gums is firm and resistant to mechanical movement like when brushing or by feeling it with your fingers. And they will also have no reaction to dental probing. The deposit of pus or purulent exudates in the gums is another indication of a disorder.

Factors that Increase Gum Disease Risk

Smoking is the biggest contributor to the development of gum and periodontal diseases. The toxins in tobacco can promote the growth of bacteria in the mouth and causes unhealthy discoloration. Smoking can also reduce the efficacy of treatment. People with diabetes have higher risk of developing gum diseases since they are more at risk of getting infected. Some medications, whether prescription or over-the-counter drugs, have the tendency of lowering the saliva flow in the mouth which in effect reduces the mouth’s natural capacity to kill bacteria that causes gum infection.

There are many natural ways of keeping the gums in tiptop shape. Avoiding bad habits like smoking and eating the right kind of foods can greatly reduce the risk of developing gum disorders. A study published in the Journal of American Dietetic Association, for example, showed that eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the likelihood of getting struck with periodontal disease.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids against Gum Diseases

According to a new study conducted by a team of researchers from Harvard Medical School, and was led by Dr Asghar Naqvi, omega-3 fatty acids can inversely affect the risk of getting periodontitis. The researchers found that the supplementation of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids DHA and EPA decreased the prevalence of the gum disease in Americans by 20 percent. Naqvi said, in reference to the study, that the treatment of periodontitis has been limited to the use of local antibiotic and mechanical cleaning. He adds that the study strongly suggests the use of dietary therapy to fight the disease; it’s a less expensive and safer way of treating and preventing the disease. He also suggested the supplementation of DHA according to the recommended dosage of the American Heart Association to influence the onset of the periodontitis.

Periodontitis is a common gum disorder in adults which is associated with the chronic inflammation and the separation of the gums from the teeth. This leads to the formation of periodontal pockets where harmful microorganisms can accumulate and lead to teeth and even bone loss. The usual treatment of periodontitis initially consists of the removal of bacteria from the periodontal pockets to avoid further infection. But other methods of approaching the disease target the gum’s response to the infection instead of focusing on its cause.

A study published in the Molecular Oral Biology had reported the anti-bacterial properties of omega-3 fatty acids. This further expands the benefits of the compound from just being anti-inflammatory. The study conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Kentucky found that the fatty acids known as acid ethyl esters in ALA, DHA and EPA can influence the growth of oral pathogens. This was thought to be the first to examine the antibacterial properties of omega-3 fatty acids.

The study led by Dr Naqvi was dedicated to discovering the anti-inflammatory benefits of omega-3 in terms of reducing the risk of developing periodontitis. The team evaluated data from more than 9,000 adults who joined that National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 1999 to 2004. They found that the consumption of foods containing DHA reduced the prevalence of periodontitis by around 20 percent.

Professor from Boston University, Elizabeth Krall Kaye, said that the study’s findings are well-founded and strongly suggestive of taking omega-3 supplementation as an effective means of fighting the condition. The researchers however, disclaimed, that their study only acquired associative evidence or information on the habits that reduces the risk of developing the disease. It does not indicate that the lack of omega-3 in diet causes the disease.

Eat Your Way towards Healthy Gums

Having healthy gums may mean doing something as simple as practicing good oral hygiene, and making the choice to eat healthy foods.  Here are some ways to promote healthy gums:

  • Eating foods rich in antioxidants like omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin c reduces the inflammation of gums associated with gum disease.
  • Eating celery can protect the teeth and gums by producing more saliva that protects the mouth from bacterial infection and by naturally cleaning the areas in-between the teeth and by massaging the gums.
  • The high calcium content of cheese and its low carbohydrate content balance the mouths pH level and supplies the teeth and gums with their much needed nutrient.
  • Other foods that promote gum health are green tea, kiwis, onions, parsley, and sesame seeds primarily due to their antibacterial properties.
  • Drinking a lot of water also flushes away bacteria and food residue from the mouth.
  • Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


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