Gum disease, otherwise known as periodontal disease, is a serious infection of the tissues that hold the teeth in place. Gingivitis is the mildest type of periodontal disease which causes the gums to become swollen and red. As the infection progresses, periodontal disease can cause infection to spread in the pockets between the gums and teeth. Over time, the teeth can become loose and even fall out.
Fortunately, gum disease can be prevented with proper oral hygiene habits and regular visits to a Clermont dentist for cleanings. Check out these effective tips for preventing gum disease.
1. Practice Good Oral Hygiene
Regular brushing and flossing are the foundation for a solid oral hygiene regimen. The American Dental Association recommends brushing with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day for a full two minutes each time. Brushing helps to remove sticky plaque and bacteria from the teeth and gums. Floss removes harder-to-reach plaque between teeth.
2. Swish With a Mouthwash
Many people underestimate the importance of using a mouthwash. In addition to freshening your breath, an antiseptic mouthwash used twice a day can help prevent the bacteria responsible for infecting the gums and teeth.
3. Maintain a Healthy Diet
One of the best things you can do for your gums is to eat healthy. Sugary foods can lead to both tooth decay and gum disease as bacteria feeds on these sugars and creates harmful acids and plaque. Eating a nutritious diet with lots of healthy vitamins and minerals helps to keep teeth strong and fight off health conditions, such as gum disease.
4. Talk to Your Doctor About Your Medications
Some medications can have a negative impact on your oral health. When certain drugs lead to a buildup of bacteria in the mouth, it can increase a person’s risk of tooth decay and gum disease. There are also many medications that can slow down saliva flow. Without adequate saliva to wash away bacteria and particles, they can build up in the mouth. Even hormonal changes can contribute to the development of gum disease.
5. Stay Hydrated
Adequate hydration is essential for preventing gum disease and maintaining overall good health. When you drink water, you produce more saliva which helps fight off bad bacteria in the mouth.
6. Upgrade to an Electric Toothbrush
If you have a hard time removing stubborn plaque, consider switching to an electric toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes are highly effective at removing sticky plaque without having to resort to brushing too aggressively with a manual toothbrush.
7. Avoid Unhealthy Habits
Engaging in certain habits that are unhealthy for the body can contribute to tooth decay and gum disease. The use of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco can not only reduce gum tissues’ ability to heal, but can also lead to oral cancer.
8. Chew Sugar-Free Gum
Long after enjoying a meal, you can keep the saliva flow going in your mouth by chewing on sugar-free gum containing Xylitol. This natural sweetener is derived from plants and does not break down like normal sugar. Instead, it helps to maintain a neutral pH level in the mouth.
9. Know the Symptoms of Gum Disease
Identifying the symptoms of gingivitis or periodontal disease early on can help lessen the impact that it has on your oral health. With help from a dentist in Clermont, you may even be able to stop the progression of gum disease. The most common symptoms of gum disease include bad breath, sensitive teeth, buildup of tartar, gums that bleed easily when you brush or floss, and gums that appear red and swollen.
10. See a Dentist in Clermont, FL
Regular oral health visits are one of the best ways to prevent gum disease. Local dentists are trained on what to look for when performing visual exams of the teeth and gums. If there are indications that you may have gingivitis or progressing gum disease, treatment should be started immediately. It’s also important to have your teeth cleaned on a regular basis to prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar.
To learn more about gum disease prevention or to schedule an appointment with our Clermont family dentistry practice, reach out to the experienced dental team at Hancock Village Dental.