Gum Disease Prevention
Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is caused when bacteria in plaque (a sticky, colorless film that forms in the mouth) builds up between the gums and teeth. When the bacteria begin to grow, the gums surrounding the tooth can become inflamed.
If left untreated, this inflammation can cause the gums and supporting bone structure to deteriorate. This can lead to gum recession or even tooth loss. In addition, research has shown that gum disease may be associated with other diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease.
Luckily, periodontal disease can be preventable. Adding these habits to your daily routine can help.
Brush your teeth. Brushing after meals helps remove food debris and plaque trapped between your teeth and gums. Don’t forget to include your tongue; bacteria love to hide there.
Floss. Flossing at least once a day helps remove food particles and plaque, between teeth and along the gumline, that your toothbrush can’t quite reach.
Swish with mouthwash. Using mouthwash can help reduce plaque and remove remaining food particles that brushing and flossing may have missed.
Know your risk. Age, smoking, diet, and genetics can all affect your risk for periodontal disease. If you are at increased risk, be sure to talk with your dental professional.
See a periodontist. Get an annual comprehensive periodontal evaluation (CPE) from a dental professional. A CPE looks at your teeth, plaque level, gums, bite, bone structure, and other risk factors for periodontal disease. Identifying symptoms of gum disease early is key to protecting your teeth and gums.