Did you know gum disease is one of the leading causes of tooth loss among adults in the United States? The reason is that the symptoms of gum disease can often be silent, allowing it to go unnoticed for long periods. When gum disease is discovered in an advanced stage, the damage is often irreversible and can require costly restorative treatment.
The good news is that with a little education and a little due diligence, gum disease is almost entirely preventable. Since gum disease has been linked to other health conditions such as heart problems, diabetes, and strokes, prevention can help with total wellness.
In general, preventing gum disease usually requires just a few simple steps that are easy for anyone to follow.
- Practice and maintain good oral hygiene habits. Keeping your teeth clean is the easiest and most effective way to help prevent gum disease. We recommend that all patients brush their teeth after each meal, but for those who can’t, brushing should be done at least twice each day. The simple act of brushing alone isn’t enough; make sure to clean all surfaces of the teeth and the tongue. Flossing once each day is necessary to help remove food particles that are trapped between teeth.
- Use an electric toothbrush. Investing in a good electric toothbrush can help you if you have dexterity problems.
- Use an antibacterial mouthwash.
- Maintain twice-yearly dental appointments. Regular dental care check-ups allow us to monitor the mouth for early signs of decay and gum disease and to remove plaque that brushing alone cannot.
The earliest form of gum disease is gingivitis. If you are diagnosed with gingivitis, symptoms can be reversed and treatment is typically professional cleanings and an improvement in oral hygiene at home. If you are diagnosed with advanced gum disease, treatment can be more invasive and teeth are at risk of shifting or falling out.
By taking a few minutes out of each day to care for your teeth properly, you can help ensure that your smile stays beautiful and healthy for the long term. For an appointment, call us at [phone].