5 Tips To Prevent Gum Disease & Treatment Options

March 7, 2023

The CDC reports that nearly half of all American adults suffer from some form of gum disease (AKA periodontal disease). Yet, many don’t realize they have it and many more don’t even know what gum disease is. Simply stated, gum disease is an infection of the gum tissues in the mouth. It is caused when tartar builds up along the gum line, irritating the tissues. This causes the gums to become inflamed, bleed, and recede.

Left untreated, the bacteria from the disease can lead to serious oral and overall health consequences, such as tooth loss, tooth movement, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, premature birth, and more.

With all of this knowledge, you’re likely wondering how can I prevent gum disease? The good news is that gum disease is completely preventable and we’re here to help you! Continue reading to learn how to stop periodontal disease from affecting your smile and treatment options if it already does.

Tips for Preventing Gum Disease

1. Create an effective oral hygiene routine

What does this entail? There are items needed to create the most effective oral hygiene routine at home:

  • Toothbrush: Manual toothbrushes work, but electric toothbrushes are better at removing plaque from the teeth and gum line. Ask your dentist about which toothbrush, electric or manual, is best for your smile. Then, use it once in the morning for two minutes and once in the evening for two minutes.
  • Toothpaste: Fluoride toothpaste helps fight against disease-causing bacteria and strengthens dental enamel. Look for a toothpaste with the ADA Seal of Acceptance that specifically benefits gum health to ensure you are keeping periodontal disease at bay.
  • Floss: We cannot stress enough how important flossing is to your oral health. Toothbrushes do not clean between teeth. Therefore, neglecting to floss is often the reason periodontal disease develops for so many. Use traditional thread floss, floss picks, or a water flosser– whichever is easiest for you!
  • Mouthwash: An antibacterial mouthwash can reduce plaque and kill disease-causing bacteria in hard-to-reach places, like parts of the cheeks and tongue and below the gums.

2. Eat healthy foods

What you eat has an immediate impact on your oral health. Sugary and starchy foods feed the bacteria that cause gum disease. To prevent gum disease from developing, eat more whole foods like vegetables and fruit, dairy products like cheese and yogurt, and fibrous foods like spinach and broccoli. Reduce your intake of bread, sweets, and acidic foods.

3. Drink plenty of water

If you’re sipping on coffee, tea, or soda all day long, you’re doing a disservice to your oral health. These are often filled with sugar, so when you don’t drink water with them, the sugar just sits on your teeth until you do.

Water helps flush the sugars from your teeth, gums, tongue, and cheeks to reduce your risk of periodontal disease.

4. Quit bad habits

Smoking, chewing tobacco, excessive alcohol, and even nail biting can all be detrimental to your gum health. Try to quit these habits as soon as possible to protect your teeth and gums from damage.

5. Visit the dentist every six months

During a six-month dental appointment, a dentist examines your teeth and gums and thoroughly cleans your mouth. This helps prevent periodontal disease and provides the opportunity to spot it in its earliest stage so that it can be reversed.

Gum Disease Treatment Options

1. Antibiotics

A round of antibiotics can reduce inflammation and eliminate the infection so your gum tissue can heal.

2. Scaling and root planing

Also known as a deep dental cleaning, scaling and root planing is a two-step treatment. Scaling involves removing tartar from above and below the gum line with a metal scraper or an ultrasonic scaling device. Root planing involves smoothing the tooth roots so that the gum tissue can reattach.

3. Gum graft surgery

Gum graft surgery may be necessary if the gums have significantly receded. This may involve the use of tissue from another area of your mouth or donated tissue. Once the tissue is placed, it encourages your natural tissue to grow and reattach.

4. Pocket reduction surgery

Pocket reduction surgery, or flap surgery, involves removing tartar from well below the gum line and reducing gum pocket depth by removing the tissue and reattaching it.

Schedule a Dental Cleaning Appointment Today

If it’s been longer than six months since your last dental appointment, don’t put it off any longer! Our team is prepared to help you prevent gum disease or to treat it. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.

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