Gum disease, also known as periodontitis, is an infection of the gums that damages the soft tissue. Left untreated, it can cause several oral and general health problems, including tooth loss, discomfort, bad breath, and the need for expensive treatments.
Fortunately, gum disease is easily preventable, even though it is a common issue. Here are seven ways to avoid it:
1. Brush Your Teeth Regularly
If you don’t regularly brush, plaque can form on your teeth and gums. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that can cause inflammation and infection.
Brush your teeth for two minutes at least twice a day—in the morning and right before bed.
2. Floss Daily
Flossing can help prevent periodontitis. It can help remove food particles between your teeth that are challenging for a toothbrush to reach. Flossing also removes plaque and stops the growth of bacterial colonies in your mouth.
3. Use an Antiseptic Mouthwash
Antiseptic mouthwash can kill bacteria that cause gum disease, while also keeping your breath fresh. Additionally, it can help remove particles from the mouth that brushing and flossing miss.
However, not all mouthwashes can fight bacteria that cause gum disease. Your dentist can help you choose the ideal mouthwash for your particular needs.
4. Quit Smoking
Smoking and other tobacco use lead to many oral health issues. Some common examples are gum disease, tooth decay, bad breath, and tooth loss.
The most significant effects on your oral health are as follows:
Decreased Blood Flow to the Gums
Smoking can reduce the amount of blood flowing to the gums, making it more difficult for them to fight infection.
Increased Plaque Buildup
The use of tobacco products can increase plaque accumulation on teeth and gums. This buildup consequently increases the risk of gum disease.
Decreased Ability to Fight Infection
Smoking can impair the immune system’s ability to fight infection. This impairment raises the likelihood of gum disease onset and progression.
5. Manage Your Diabetes
People with uncontrolled diabetes are more likely to develop gum disease. That is because they are more prone to infections, and their bodies find it more difficult to fight bacteria.
Additionally, periodontitis is exacerbated by dry mouth caused by high blood sugar levels. If you have a dry mouth, it will be hard to neutralize the acid produced by mouth bacteria. You may also experience difficulty washing away food particles without saliva.
Therefore, people with diabetes must closely monitor their blood sugar levels and visit their dentist regularly. Doing so will help them prevent gum disease and maintain good oral health.
Good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups and cleanings can help people with diabetes reduce their risk of gum disease.
6. Eat A Healthy Diet
A diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants can help you maintain healthy gums and support your overall oral health.
For instance, vitamins C and D and minerals like calcium and phosphorus are essential for your gum health. These nutrients contribute to the development of strong, healthy teeth and gums. Vitamin C, in particular, is essential for fighting infections and promoting healing. Meanwhile, antioxidants like vitamins A and E help prevent oxidative stress and free radical damage to the gums.
A diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein provides the nutrients necessary for good oral health.
7. Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Regular dental cleanings and check-ups are vital for preventing and detecting gum disease. During a check-up, your dentist can examine your mouth for signs of gum disease and other oral problems.
Gum disease, if detected early, can be effectively treated with a deep cleaning procedure known as scaling and root planing. During this procedure, your dentist will remove any plaque and tartar to help prevent disease progression.
Top Dentist Near You in Eugene, OR
Would you like to find out more about how to improve your oral health? Visit Dr. Ari Binder at 360 Dental today! Our family-friendly dental practice offers a full range of general and restorative dental services. We also perform gum disease treatments to help improve your smile and self-esteem.