Gum disease, also known as periodontitis or periodontal disease, is an infection of the soft tissues that surround the teeth. Periodontitis is incredibly common, but is also preventable. Whether your dentist has let you know that you have a mild case of gum disease or you simply want to prevent it, there are a few practices you can implement in your oral health routine to keep your gums healthy.
Periodontal disease is caused by plaque, which is a sticky film of bacteria that can form on the teeth. When your teeth are cleaned regularly, plaque does not have a chance to build up. However, without regular brushing and flossing, your gums can become irritated. Eventually, the bacteria will cause damage and decay.
Learn more about periodontal disease prevention and what to do if you have gum disease, and contact your dentist today to make an appointment for a routine cleaning.
Periodontal Disease Prevention Tips
How can you prevent periodontal disease? By maintaining good oral hygiene habits, you can keep many oral health issues at bay, including gum disease. Include all of the following in your oral health routine:
Tip #1: Brush Twice a Day
Brushing twice a day for at least two minutes or after meals if possible will help remove the bacteria that can turn into plaque. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush so that you do not further irritate your gums while brushing.
Tip #2: Regular Cleanings
During teeth cleanings, your dentist can check for the early warning signs of periodontal disease. They might use a small probe to check the space between your gums and the surface of your teeth to see if there are pockets of space between them, which can be a sign of gum disease. Your dentist will also be able to give you advice on how to treat any oral health issues that may be present.
Tip #3: Floss Every Day
Floss can help you remove plaque in hard-to-reach areas between your teeth. Brushing alone might not remove all the plaque in your mouth, but flossing can fill in the gaps. Floss before you brush so that brushing removes the loosened food particles.
Tip #4: Avoid Smoking
Because smoking can weaken your body’s response to disease, it can make it harder for you to avoid gum disease. Smoking can also irritate your gums.
Tip #5: Eat a Balanced Diet
What you eat can boost your immune system, helping you fight off infection. Additionally, eating a diet high in sugary or acidic foods can weaken your enamel and cause oral health issues. Swap out soda for water or tea and try to incorporate fresh, unprocessed foods like fruit, vegetables, and lean proteins into your diet.
What to Do if You Have Periodontal Disease
Many people develop gum disease without being aware of the problem. While your general dentist can tell you if your gums are healthy, the following can be signs of gum disease or other oral health issues:
- Irritated, inflamed, and swollen gums
- Bleeding when you brush your teeth
- Sensitivity to hot or cold beverages
- Persistent bad breath
- Gums that are pulling away from your teeth
- A bad taste in your mouth
- Loose teeth
If you think you have periodontal disease, contact your dentist. They can determine the best treatment for your needs and help you avoid problems in the future.
Contact Columbia Smiles for Periodontal Treatment
If you are concerned about preventing periodontal disease, reach out to your dentist. At Columbia Smiles, we can help in treating and preventing gum disease. Our dental practice in Columbia, MD has provided dental services to the Howard County area for over 35 years. Contact us at 410.690.4855 to schedule an appointment today.