According to a study from the CDC, about half of adults in the United States have some form of gum disease. It is a condition that can lead to a variety of oral problems like bad breath, bleeding and swelling. The advanced stage of gum disease, called periodontitis, has also been linked to health issues like diabetes and heart disease.
4 Ways to prevent gum disease
As common as gum disease is, it can be easily prevented by establishing a good dental care routine. This should include brushing at least two times each day, using an antibacterial mouthwash after brushing and flossing once per day.
Avoiding habits like smoking or regular alcohol consumption can also help to prevent gum disease. Both habits dry out the mouth, creating conditions that are favorable for oral bacteria to thrive. Let us take a look at some of the things you can do to prevent gum disease in greater detail:
1. Oral hygiene
Oral hygiene goes a long way when it comes to keeping gum disease at bay. Gum disease is an infection of the gums and it typically occurs when plaque is left on tooth surfaces for extended periods. Some of the plaque makes it below the gum line and into gum pockets. The person's immune system deploys antibodies in response to the infection, leading to tenderness and inflammation.
Brushing at least two times a day does not only help to fight off infections. A 2018 study shows that people who brush at least two times daily for at least two minutes each session are about three times less likely to develop heart disease.
Dentists recommend using a toothpaste that contains fluoride to keep teeth enamel strong. Teeth should be cleaned using gentle, circular motions while keeping the brush at a 45-degree angle.
The two best times to brush teeth are early in the morning and right before bed. This gets rid of plaque that has built up overnight and prevents plaque from sitting on teeth during sleep. Flossing is just as important since it does the same thing brushing does for the tight spaces between teeth.
2. Switch to a new toothbrush every three months
Toothbrushes become less effective as their bristles begin to wear down with use. This limits how effective the toothbrush is at removing plaque from teeth surfaces. Dentists recommend replacing your toothbrush every three months or whenever the bristles are noticeably worn down.
Toothbrushes accumulate bacteria with use and rinsing is not enough to get them off. The bacteria can end up facilitating gum disease if a person does not replace their toothbrush regularly.
3. Visit a dentist twice a year
Regular visits to a dentist give them an opportunity to detect gum disease in its early stages when it can still be reversed. It also provides a chance to perform treatments, like teeth cleaning, that can help to prevent gum disease.
Keep gum disease away
Contact our Palm Desert clinic to learn more about how you can lower your risk of gum disease.
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