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Preventing and Treating Gum Disease

Regular dental hygiene visits and homecare are very important to prevent the development of gum and periodontal disease. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to soft tissue damage and bone loss requiring surgery to correct. For this reason, it is very important to practice excellent dental hygiene to prevent the growth of unhealthy bacteria in your mouth.

Below are several ways to avoid gum disease.

Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Regular oral care is vital for healthy gums. However, oral care includes more than just brushing your teeth. You also need to add regular flossing to your regimen. Flossing helps prevent the buildup of plaque in your gums which can lead to gingivitis and periodontitis, the two types of gum diseases. Rinsing with low alcohol, antimicrobial mouthwash after eating may also help dislodge food particles and clean your mouth. 

Visit Your Dentist Bi-Yearly

Along with your regular oral homecare, it is important to visit your dentist every six months for a professional cleaning and oral evaluation.  At your dental visit, the dentist will remove plaque and tartar build-up that brushing and flossing may leave behind, and they will be able to detect potential problems such as the onset of gum disease and dental decay.

Look for Symptoms of Gum Disease

When identified early by your dentist, gum disease is very treatable. Although gum disease may have a genetic component, it can be exacerbated by tobacco use, poor diet, prescription medications and hormonal changes.  

Here are some symptoms to look for which may be an indication of gum disease or periodontal disease:

  • Swollen or puffy gums
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Tender gums when touched
  • Heavy tartar and plaque buildup
  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Bad breath

If any of these symptoms persist, it is important to make an appointment with your dentist right away so they can assess the situation and treat them accordingly.

Clean Your Dental Appliances

Dental appliances such as crowns, dentures, bridges, braces, retainers, and implants are often made from metal or ceramic materials. Therefore they need to be cleaned regularly.  If germs are allowed to invade, you may be more prone to gum disease or periodontal disease.

Stop Bad Habits

Eating foods that are high in sugar, late-night snacking, smoking or chewing tobacco, and consuming alcoholic beverages in excess can negatively impact your dental health and overall oral health. By avoiding these habits, you will improve your dental health and overall health.

Bottom Line

The best way to prevent periodontal disease is to brush twice a day and floss at least once daily to remove the particles your toothbrush can not reach. Use an anti-cavity fluoride rinse that displays the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Furthermore, try to keep your body well-hydrated, maintain a healthy diet, limit sugary foods/drinks, and make sure to visit your dentist for regular checkups every six months. For more information, visit us at or call (603)624-3900.