Gum disease, also commonly referred to as periodontal disease, is an inflammation of the gums. It is caused by plaque, which is a sticky, colorless film of bacteria that often forms on teeth. Gum disease usually causes tooth loss. It is often painless, so you may not even know you have it. Fortunately, gum disease…
Preventive Dentistry Tips for Gum Disease
Are you wondering whether you can do anything to prevent gum disease? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), gum disease affects over half of all Americans over the age of 30.
Early stages of gum disease, such as gingivitis, may be treated with a dental cleaning every six months and good oral hygiene practice at home. However, if the issue has progressed to periodontal disease, it is incurable. Fortunately, with preventive dentistry, which requires the joint effort of the dentist and the patient, it is possible to prevent or lower the risk of gum disease. Read on to learn a few helpful tips.
Tips for gum disease prevention
The following are preventive dentistry tips for gum disease.
Excellent oral hygiene is important
Gum disease worsens with time, so maintaining proper oral hygiene may help prevent it from progressing to an irreparable level. Plaque is a sticky bacterial film that accumulates over time when one fails to brush and floss regularly. It eventually hardens to form tartar, which needs professional dental cleaning to eliminate. If plaque and tartar are not eliminated, the gums will become inflamed and irritated, causing gum disease.
Brush twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste. Dental professionals recommend brushing the teeth for two minutes or more for optimal oral health. The tongue also needs quick brushing or scraping.
Flossing at least once a day helps eliminate any plaque accumulation between the teeth. It cleans out trapped food particles that may lead to gum disease. A floss holder makes flossing simpler and is good for dental patients who find it difficult to floss in the standard way.
Visit the dentist regularly
A dentist or dental hygienist can eliminate plaque and tartar from the teeth during a cleaning appointment. The dental professional will also check for any symptoms of gum disease afterward and recommend treatment if the condition is present.
Increase vitamin C intake
Some studies have shown that patients with vitamin C deficiency are more likely to have gum disease. Patients can enhance their resistance to gum disease by eating more oranges, strawberries, and kiwis or taking vitamin C supplements. Vitamin C contains anti-inflammatory effects that may help halt gum bleeding and swelling, which are frequent symptoms of gum disease.
Consume a well-balanced diet
A well-balanced diet is beneficial for the teeth and is vital for overall health. It is advisable to reduce the intake of sugary meals and beverages, as these may cause tooth decay. Plaque bacteria feed on carbohydrates and sugar, producing acids that harm the teeth and gums.
Drink enough water
One of the body's most effective natural defenses against bacterial plaque is saliva. The body releases more saliva after a meal to clean off plaque and food particles. Low hydration can cause dry mouth, which is a major contributor to gum disease. Drink enough water throughout the day to keep the teeth and gums healthy. Note that certain beverages, such as coffee or alcohol, tend to cause dehydration.
Visit the dentist for dental cleaning
The dentist may notice early signs of gum disease during routine dental appointments, which means they can address the symptoms before they worsen. Only professional dental cleaning can eliminate tartar from the teeth. The process will also clean food debris and plaque from hard-to-reach areas.
If the patient also has periodontal disease, the dentist can provide helpful treatment options. The dentist can stop receding gums and other oral health problems with scaling and root planing. Regular dental visits every six months enable the dentist to examine the gums for any signs of gum disease and develop a treatment plan if necessary.
Smokers have additional incentives to give up the habit. Gum disease is more likely to develop in those who smoke. According to the CDC, smoking impairs the immune system, making it more difficult to fight off a gum infection. Furthermore, smoking makes it more difficult for damaged gums to recover.
Get an antibacterial mouthwash
The American Dental Association recommends using a therapeutic mouthwash to minimize plaque, gingivitis, and tartar formation. These mouthwashes are purchasable over the counter. Rinsing the mouth helps eliminate food particles and debris from the mouth, but it is not a replacement for regular brushing and flossing.
Do you have gum disease?
Your dentist can provide treatment for gum disease even if you already have the condition. Your biannual dental appointments can help prevent gum disease or enable the dentist to catch it before it worsens.
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