The good news is that periodontal disease is normally preventable. Preventative measures are simple enough that anyone can implement them if they are determined to do so.
Here are three tips for fighting back against gum problems before they even begin:
1. Be Vigilant to Protect Your Oral Hygiene
Regular brushing and flossing is the number one way to prevent any periodontal problems. You should brush and floss at least once in the morning, just after breakfast, and again just before going to bed. You may also want to brush/floss after lunch to ensure that you don’t have any food particles trapped between your teeth.
To boost your oral hygiene further and better protect your gums, use an antiseptic mouthwash that will kill mouth bacteria. Also consider using an antibacterial fluoride toothpaste. And be sure to brush your tongue since the tongue often harbors a lot of bacteria. The key is to remove all food particles and plaque stuck between your teeth and along your gum lines.
2. Change Unhealthy Habits That Hurt Your Gums
Besides neglect of regular brushing/flossing, there are other bad habits that can significantly raise your risk of developing gum disease. These include:
- Smoking. Smoking tobacco products not only stains your teeth and gives you chronic bad breath (halitosis) but also cuts off oxygen to your gums and puts them at higher risk.
- Drinking. Excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages, besides its other potential negative effects, also increases the chances of your developing periodontal disease.
- Sugary foods. The bacteria that deteriorate gum tissue survive and thrive on sugar and the plaque it creates. A high-sugar diet is unhealthy to begin with, but it is especially unhealthy for teeth and gums. On the other side, vitamin and mineral rich foods boost gum health, and foods like apples and raw carrots scrape sugary residue off your teeth naturally.
By making critical lifestyle adjustments, you will protect your gums and keep them healthier for longer without the need for dental intervention.
3. Schedule Regular Periodontal Check-ups
The ADA (American Dental Association) recommends two dental checkups and teeth cleanings per year. This will ensure any cavities or other problems are caught and corrected as early as possible. Depending on the state of your oral health and your own body chemistry, you may require a deep cleaning or more frequent cleanings throughout the year.
For the sake of your gums, it is highly recommended that one of these two check-ups or a third, additional check-up, be done by a periodontist. A periodontal exam will monitor your gum health year by year to prevent slow deterioration from building up and "surprising" you when much damage has already been done.
In the Ormond Beach, FL, area, you can get a comprehensive periodontal evaluation (CPE) from periodontist Dr. Raymond A. Kenzik. Contact him today to learn more or to schedule an appointment.