Studies show that oral hygiene plays a role in overall health. Researchers have found that people who have periodontal disease have in increased risk of stroke, heart attack, and type II diabetes. The same harmful bacteria found in the mouth have been found in arterial plaques that cause heart disease. Saving your teeth can also save your life!

In conjunction with the in-office treatment you will receive, there are several things you can do at home to prevent and maintain your periodontal condition.

Coenzyme Q10, also known as CoQ10, is an antioxidant recommended by many dentists for the prevention and treatment of periodontal disease. CoQ10 is found in every cell of your body, particularly in the heart and oral tissues.

Researchers found that people with periodontal disease had a deficiency of this essential nutrient. It is recommended that you take at least 30mg two times per day. This is not a magic pill, you still need to brush, floss, and see your dental hygienist at least twice per year. Every day, bacteria that naturally builds up in the oral cavity, along with food particles, form a sticky, clear film on your teeth. This film is called plaque, and it forms above the gumline and below the gumline on the root surface. Plaque forms regardless of whether you eat or not.

Plaque that is not removed by brushing and flossing. It becomes hard and is unable to be removed with a toothbrush or floss. This hard plaques is called tartar. These tartar deposits produce toxins from the bacteria which cause inflammation. Inflammation of the gums is called gingivitis, and it is reversible. The inflammation below the gumline breaks down the bone and other supporting structures. This breakdown causes a space to form between the tooth and the gum, called a pocket. The breakdown of the bone and pocket formation is called periodontitis, and it is not reversible.

It is recommended that you have a dental phophylaxis or “cleaning” at least two times a year. Unfortunately, even with regular visits gingivitis and periodontitis still occur. In fact, it is estimated that 80% of adults have some severity of bone loss.

Another at-home option is to use a waterpik, which is an oral irrigator. The waterpik uses a high-powered, pulsating stream of water to gently clean around the gumline. There is also an attachment called a pik pocket, which is designed to clean periodontal pockets. In clinical studies the waterpik was 93% more effective than floss.

Doing one or both of these easy oral healthcare practices could save your teeth and your life.

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