Gum disease is a very widespread disorder, with studies from the Centers for Disease Control showing half of adults over 30 exhibit signs of the disease. However, with proper care and attention you can significantly reduce your risk of developing the disease. We encourage patients to take a preventive approach to safeguarding their smiles from disease and preventing gum disease.
Steps for Gum Disease Prevention
- Stop smoking: When you smoke or use tobacco, you can make the risk of developing gum disease more likely. In addition, tobacco use can worsen the disease and make the advanced stage, known as periodontitis, more likely. Periodontitis can eventually cause the connective tissue between the teeth and gums to break down, leading to adult tooth loss.
- Brush your teeth: One major cause of gum disease is inflammation. Our gums may become inflamed as a result of plaque, a sticky biofilm that covers the teeth and is caused by bacteria. By brushing your teeth twice a day, you help limit the amount of plaque that adheres to the teeth.
- Floss every day: The buildup we mentioned above is caused by bacteria breaking down food particles. While brushing can remove some food particles, it can’t remove the bits of food caught between the teeth. That’s why flossing is so important. You should always floss your teeth before going to bed each night.
- Have your teeth cleaned: A dental cleaning is the only way to completely remove buildup from your teeth. To truly protect your smile from periodontal disease, you need to have your teeth cleaned twice a year. If you have risk factors for periodontal disease then the doctor may recommend more frequent cleanings, such as every three to four months.
- Don’t ignore potential warning signs: If you notice your gums appear red, feel sore, or bleed easily, then this could be a warning sign of inflammation. Please don’t ignore these possible warning signs, see your dentist right away for a diagnosis.