Best Ways to Prevent Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease is a form of advanced gum disease that can have detrimental affects on your oral health and well-being overall. Gum disease is caused when bacteria or plaque in the mouth produces acids which cause inflammation of the gums.
The early stage of periodontal disease is known as gingivitis, in which gums become red, swollen and can bleed easily. If gingivitis goes untreated it can lead to full scale periodontitis, in which gums actually pull away from the teeth allowing plaque and bacteria to be trapped beneath the gums. Treatment for periodontitis includes a painful scaling procedure where your dentist will literally scrape plaque out from the beneath the gums… ouch!
Some studies have even linked periodontitis to heart problems and tooth loss!
The best way to treat periodontal disease is to prevent it from happening in the first place! Here are some basic tips to keep your gums happy and healthy.
Ways to Prevent Periodontal Disease
- Brush Regularly: It should come as no surprise that your best tool against gum disease is a tooth brush. Remember to brush first thing in the morning and last thing at night, at the very least. We also recommend that you brush after eating or drinking anything with a high-level of sugar, as this is what causes the proliferation of plaque and bacteria.
- Floss: Number two on our list is perhaps the most overlooked part of an oral care regimen. Gum disease is caused when plaque propagates near the gums of a patient. Flossing is the only way you can get rid of pesky plaque that gets caught between the teeth.
- Mouthwash: Utilizing an over-the-counter mouthwash like Listerine can do wonders for killing bacteria that grows in the mouth. For a double whammy of effectiveness purchase a mouthwash with added fluoride.
- Avoid Sugary Foods: Candy and soda pop are the leading causes of tooth decay and gum disease for Americans. The sugar in these snacks is what causes bacteria to grow in the mouth. Try cutting out candy entirely and switching to water if you have the chance. Additionally, if you absolutely must drink soda, try sipping it through a straw to avoid direct contact with your teeth.
- Quit Smoking: As if you needed another reason to quit smoking! Smoking is one of the significant risk factors associated with the development of gum disease and can lower your chances of a successful treatment.
Outside of these five steps, we always recommend that you visit your dentist at least twice a year for a regular cleaning and examination. Give us a call today to schedule your next appointment.