How To Prevent Gum Disease
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly half of American adults aged 30 and older have some form of gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. This oral health condition is an infection of the soft tissues that support the teeth and is caused by plaque. Plaque is the sticky film of bacteria that forms on teeth, and when it is left there for too long, it hardens and turns into tartar. It’s tartar that irritates the gums and causes inflammation. If you notice that you have red or swollen gums, bleeding gums after brushing, or sensitive teeth, you might be in the beginning stages of gum disease.
It’s important to treat gum disease at the early stages because, when left untreated, it can cause more harmful conditions such as gum recession and even tooth loss. Periodontal disease is also linked to major diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. The good news is that, with good daily dental hygiene habits, you can prevent this condition from progressing.
You are probably already familiar with the following steps, but it’s worth reminding patients of their importance, especially when they can help prevent gum disease.
- Brush your teeth twice a day for at least 2 minutes each time to remove plaque and prevent its build-up. Brushing after meals will also help keep food debris from settling between teeth and causing decay.
- Flossing at least once a day will help prevent plaque buildup, especially along the gum line where your toothbrush might not reach so well.
- Mouthwash can give you an added layer of protection against plaque buildup.
During your regular checkup, we will also check to make sure your gums are healthy. Between routine visits, however, if you notice any symptoms of the early stages of gum disease, please call our Spring Hill office and schedule an appointment. You don’t want this condition to progress into a bigger issue.