Top Tips to Prevent Periodontal Disease
With an estimated 46% of adults aged 30 or older showing signs of gum disease, finding ways to prevent this condition is crucial. Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is a common condition affecting the tissues surrounding and supporting your teeth. It is caused by bacteria in dental plaque and tartar buildup, leading to inflammation, which may eventually result in tooth loss if left untreated. To assist you in maintaining optimal oral health, Abra Dental has provided the following information and tips to help prevent gum disease.
Symptoms and Risk Factors of Periodontal Disease
Before taking the necessary steps to prevent periodontal disease, it is important to understand the symptoms and risk factors for the condition. Having this added knowledge in your repertoire can help you determine if you are at a higher risk of developing gum disease or if you should take extra precautionary measures. Common symptoms of gum disease include:
- Red, swollen, or tender gums
- Bleeding gums during brushing or flossing
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Receding gums
- Loose or separated teeth
- Changes in your bite
- Having canker sores
While anyone can develop gum disease, certain factors may increase your risk. For example, smoking or using other tobacco products, diabetes, hormonal changes, and genetics can all increase your chances of developing gum disease. Additionally, if you have a poor oral hygiene routine or have an underlying health condition like HIV or AIDS, you may be more likely to develop periodontal disease.
5 Tips for Preventing Gum Disease
Fortunately, there are steps you may take to reduce your risk of developing gum disease. Incorporating the following tips into your daily routine can help promote optimal oral health and reduce your chances of developing the condition. Here are six tips for preventing periodontal disease and keeping your gums healthy:
1. Brush Twice Daily
Brushing your teeth at least twice a day is one of the most important things you can do to prevent gum disease. Brushing helps remove plaque and bacteria that can build up on your teeth and gums, leading to inflammation and periodontal disease. When brushing, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, and brush for at least two minutes to ensure you remove all the plaque and bacteria from your mouth.
Remember to brush your tongue, as bacteria can also accumulate there and contribute to bad breath and gum disease. Furthermore, brushing your teeth too vigorously may cause irritation and inflammation, so be sure to use gentle yet effective brushing strokes. Ideally, you should try to brush your teeth after each meal to keep your mouth and gums in top condition.
2. Floss at Least Once a Day
Flossing is another essential step in preventing gum disease. Flossing removes plaque and bacteria between your teeth and along the gumline, where your toothbrush can’t reach. If you don’t floss regularly, the buildup of plaque and bacteria can lead to inflammation and gum disease.
To floss correctly, take a piece of floss about 18 inches long, wrap it around your fingers, and gently guide it between your teeth. Use a clean section of floss for each tooth and work the floss gently up and down along the side of each tooth, including below the gumline. If you have braces, flossing may be more challenging. To get a better idea of how to floss with braces, click here.
3. Use Mouthwash
Using an antimicrobial mouthwash may assist in preventing gum disease by killing bacteria and freshening your breath. Swish the mouthwash around in your mouth for at least 30 seconds, making sure to gargle at the back of your throat to reach the areas where bacteria can accumulate. It’s crucial to note that mouthwash should not replace brushing and flossing but rather be used as an additional step in your oral care routine. Your dentist will be able to help you select the best mouthwash for your needs.
4. Pay Attention to Your Diet
Your diet also plays a significant role in preventing gum disease. Eating a balanced diet that is rich in nutrients, such as vitamin C and calcium, can help keep your teeth and gums healthy. Vitamin C is essential for healthy gums and can be found in foods such as citrus fruits, broccoli, and kale. Calcium is crucial for strong teeth and bones and can be found in dairy products, leafy greens, and fortified foods. Additionally, reducing your intake of sugary and starchy foods can help prevent plaque buildup and keep your teeth and gums healthy.
5. Avoid Smoking
Smoking is a significant risk factor for gum disease. Smoking weakens your immune system, making it more difficult for your body to fight off infections, including those that cause gum disease. Smoking also restricts blood flow to your gums, making it harder for your body to heal once periodontal disease has set in. If you smoke, quitting is one of the best things you can do to prevent gum disease and improve your overall health. Chewing tobacco may also increase your risk of gum disease by irritating your gums and increasing plaque accumulation. Therefore, It’s best to avoid using tobacco products entirely.
Treat Gum Disease with Abra Dental
If you think you may have gum disease or want to take extra steps to prevent it, Abra Dental can help. Through our comprehensive evaluations and advanced treatments, we can diagnose periodontal disease early and develop a plan to help you manage it. Our experienced team of dentists is dedicated to providing world-class dental services and helping you maintain a healthy smile. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Schedule an appointment with Abra Dental today and get the help you need to keep your teeth and gums in optimal condition.