Periodontal disease (gum disease) is the most common oral health disease in the country. It starts with gingivitis, a buildup of plaque and bacteria on your teeth and gums, and progresses to periodontitis, which can cause inflammation and infection.
If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss and other serious health problems, and half of American adults have periodontal disease, which means you have about a 50% chance of developing it, too.
The good news is that it’s completely preventable with good oral health care.
Paul Fuentes, DDS, DABP, Andrew Peterson, DMD, MS, and our team at Arcadia Perio specialize in diagnosing and treating periodontal disease, and we’re here to share the best ways you can prevent it and protect your health.
Brush and floss regularly
One of the most important things you can do to prevent periodontal disease is brushing and flossing your teeth. Brush at least twice a day, using a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Floss at least once a day, cleaning between all of your teeth and along your gumline.
After brushing and flossing, use an antiseptic mouthwash to kill bacteria that can lead to tooth decay and periodontal disease. Look for a mouthwash that contains fluoride and is specifically designed for gum health. It doesn’t need to contain alcohol to be effective.
Practice good oral hygiene
Brushing and flossing are essential, but they’re not the only habits to have in your oral hygiene routine. Other habits that can help prevent periodontal disease include:
- Using a tongue scraper to remove bacteria from your tongue
- Using an electric toothbrush to remove plaque and bacteria
- Using a soft-bristled toothbrush and not brushing too hard
- Avoiding grinding or clenching your teeth (or seeking treatment to prevent tooth and gum damage)
- Drinking plenty of water to wash away food particles and bacteria
Brushing and flossing correctly, along with taking extra steps to protect your teeth and gums, helps keep your mouth healthier throughout your life.
Eat a healthy diet
Your diet affects your whole body health, and that includes your teeth and gums. A healthy diet can help prevent periodontal disease by providing your body with the nutrients it needs to maintain healthy gums and teeth.
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains. Avoid sugary and starchy foods, which promote bacteria growth in your mouth.
Smoking is a major risk factor for periodontal disease. That’s because it weakens your immune system and makes it harder for your body to fight off infections. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, quitting can help to reduce your risk of gum disease and other health problems.
Visit the dentist regularly
Regular dental cleanings are essential for preventing periodontal disease; schedule appointments about once every six months. We look for early signs of gum disease during your checkups. If we notice early signs of gingivitis, we can treat it before it gets more serious.
Consider professional treatments
If you’re at high risk for periodontal disease or you already have it, we may recommend advanced treatments to improve your oral health.
Scaling and root planing is a deep cleaning procedure that removes plaque and tartar from below your gumline and smooths the roots of your teeth to help prevent bacteria buildup. Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure (LANAP™) is a noninvasive treatment that uses a laser to remove infected tissue and promote healing.
Prevention is always better than treatment, so start taking care of your gums and teeth today to ensure a healthy smile for years to come. To get a personalized oral health care plan that’s right for you, book an appointment at Arcadia Perio in Arcadia, California.
Call our office at 626-600-2009 or book an appointment online today.