Gum disease is a common condition that affects children, teens, and adults. Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is an inflammation of the gums usually caused by a buildup of plaque, a transparent sticky layer of bacteria that forms on the gums and teeth. If plaque isn’t removed by routine brushing, it can produce toxins that irritate and damage the gums.
When healthy, your gums should appear firm and pink. However, untreated gum disease can compromise the structure of the gums, causing teeth to become loose or fall out. While gum disease is a serious condition, it can usually be prevented. Learn more about gum disease and how to properly care for your teeth and gums to prevent gum disease from affecting your health.
Ways to Prevent Gum Disease
1. Don’t Skip Brushing
It’s easy to forget to brush your teeth when you are busy or away from home. However, skipping brushing on a regular basis can significantly increase your odds of plaque buildup, tooth decay, and gum disease. Remember to brush your teeth at least twice per day to remove plaque, food particles, and bacteria from the mouth. If you plan to be away from home for an extended period of time, bring along a travel toothbrush and toothpaste so that you’re always prepared.
2. Floss at Least Once a Day
Flossing is a key component of good oral health and one that many people overlook. Your toothbrush is unable to reach every nook and cranny in your mouth. Therefore, floss is needed to remove plaque and food particles in the tight spaces between teeth. According to an article published in the Journal of Periodontology, floss helps remove up to 80 percent of interdental plaque and significantly reduces a person’s risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease.
3. Use a Mouthwash Containing Fluoride
Swishing with fluoride after brushing and flossing can help remove any excess food particles that may be lingering in the mouth. The use of fluoride can also reduce the overall number of bacteria. Ideally, you should use a mouthwash that contains fluoride to help strengthen your teeth. There are also many over-the-counter mouthwash products that claim to reduce your risk of gingivitis. For example, therapeutic mouthwashes are designed to help reduce plaque, tartar, and gum disease.
4. Chew Sugar-Free Gum
There may be times when you’re unable to brush or floss. When these instances occur, consider chewing sugar-free gum. Chewing sugar-free gum has been found to help protect the teeth and gums between meals. Chewing sugar-free gum can also help with bad breath and dry mouth. It is important to remember to only chew sugar-free gum, as gum that contains sugar will create more fuel for bacteria.
5. Quit the Use of Tobacco Products
Smoking has long been associated with the onset of gum disease. If you smoke cigarettes or use other tobacco products, consider quitting. Smoking can weaken your immune system, making it harder for your body to fight off gum infections and other health problems. In addition, the use of tobacco products can make it more difficult for your gums to heal after they’ve been damaged.
6. Visit Your Clermont Dentist Regularly
One of the best things you can do to maintain good oral health is to see your dentist in Clermont on a regular basis. Many local dentists recommend having a routine checkup and cleaning every six months to one year, depending on the state of your oral health. During these visits, your Clermont dental practice will look for signs of dental decay and thoroughly clean your teeth.
Contact Your Dentist in Clermont FL Today
Gum disease is a common but preventable condition. With a good oral health regimen and routine visits to your Clermont family dentistry office for exams and cleanings, you can prevent gum disease from developing and progressing over time. To learn more about how to prevent gum disease or to schedule an appointment, contact Hancock Village Dental at 352-989-5815 or send us a message.