According to the American Dental Association, periodontitis, otherwise known as gum disease, is an infection of the gums and a major cause of tooth loss in adults. Experts estimate that gum disease affects nearly half of American adults over the age of 30. Though you can treat early-stage gum disease by going to your dentist every six months for a dental cleaning and good at-home oral hygiene, later state periodontal disease is irreversible and much more challenging to treat. The good news is that you can prevent periodontal disease. Read on to learn more about the steps you can take to prevent more serious forms of gum disease.
The Best Preventions for Periodontal Disease
Preventing periodontal disease is one of the best things you can do for your oral health. Without treatment, periodontal disease can destroy the bone that supports your teeth. And worse, it can cause your teeth to loosen or even fall out. But, by following these steps below, you can set yourself up to avoid the negative consequences of periodontal disease by preventing it from occurring in the first place.
1. Practice good oral hygiene at home.
Periodontal disease is often caused by poor oral hygiene. When you brush your teeth twice a day, floss once per day, and rinse daily with a fluoridated mouthwash, you are taking the most important steps to protect your mouth and teeth. Select a dentist-recommended mouthwash to help keep periodontitis away. And, make sure to change out your soft-bristled toothbrush every two to three months.
2. Go see your family dentist every six months.
Though a good oral care routine at home is critical to your oral health, there are places in your mouth that sometimes we just can’t reach. When you go to your family dentist every six months, you take the next most important step in protecting your mouth. Your dentist can do a professional dental cleaning, reaching all of those hard-to-get-at areas. They can conduct an oral examination to make sure there are no signs of trouble ahead—in fact, your dentist will likely notice early signs of periodontitis before you even realize there are signs.
3. Make good food and beverage choices.
We all know that some foods and beverages are better for our overall health than others. For example, chocolate cake for breakfast, candy canes for a midday snack, and caramel-colored sodas as the main source of hydration aren’t the best food and beverage choices for our bodies. And, those items aren’t good for our teeth and oral health either. By switching out unhealthy snacks and foods for healthier, tooth-friendly foods, you’re not only doing something great for your body, but for your teeth and gums too. So, a great way to help avoid periodontal disease is to select foods like green tea, salmon, cauliflower, broccoli, guava, and strawberries. Add some carrots and celery in the mix too to help scrape leftover food particles and bacteria away from your teeth.
4. Use a tongue scraper to rid your mouth of bad oral bacteria.
Keeping bad bacteria at bay is a critical strategy in preventing cavities, gum disease, and other conditions affecting the mouth. Tongue scraping helps clear this bad bacteria from your mouth, which can improve your tongue’s appearance and overall sensation. There are other reasons to scrape your tongue too, including improving your sense of taste, reducing bad breath, and improving your oral health.
5. Take notice of possible signs of gum disease or periodontal disease.
Though only a dentist can fully diagnose you with periodontitis, it is a good idea to know how to tell if you have gum disease. Aside from following our previous recommendations, be on the lookout for the following:
- Bleeding of your gums during and after tooth brushing.
- Red, swollen gums.
- Persistent halitosis or a bad taste in your mouth.
- Gum recession.
- Deep pocket formation between your teeth and gums.
- Loose or shifting teeth.
- Changes in the way your teeth fit together when you are biting down.
- A change in the fit of your dentures.
Visit your dentist in Hampton or Griffin, GA, to prevent periodontal disease.
One of the best ways to prevent periodontal disease from starting in the first place is to practice good oral hygiene at home and visit your family dentist every six months. So if you don’t have a family dentist or a dental home, and you live or work near Hampton or Griffin, GA, then Allred Family Dentistry would love to welcome you as a new patient. Request an appointment using our online form or give our office a call. We look forward to meeting you and working with you to prevent periodontitis.