How to Prevent Gum Disease
By Eugene D. Stanislaus on February 26, 2010
Gum disease is a condition that affects millions of people, from teens to adults. It is caused by the accumulation of plaque at the base of the tooth that breaks down the tissues of the gums. Characterized by swollen gums that bleed easily, gum disease is easily treatable. However, if left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss. To prevent gum disease, follow these easy steps:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day to remove the particles and bacteria left behind after eating. Brushing after every meal is recommended as the best way to prevent gingivitis and advanced cases of gum disease.
- Floss everyday. Get in-between, from the gum to the top of the tooth to remove food particles that may have gotten caught. Floss before brushing so that the toothbrush can sweep away the loosened particles.
- Replace the toothbrush every three months, as the brush becomes less effective as the bristles wear down.
- Rinse with an ADA-recommended mouthwash to flush out the particles loosened by brushing and flossing.
- Visit the dentist at least twice a year for a thorough cleaning, tartar removal, x-rays, and to assess the condition of existing dental crowns and other dental work.
- Seek treatment for grinding and clenching. Teeth grinding and jaw clenching puts unnecessary stress on the teeth and supporting gum tissue, leaving them susceptible to damage.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Eat a balanced diet to help the body fight infection.
- Quit smoking, to reduce your risk of gum disease, among other things.
- Treat misaligned teeth with orthodontics such as braces or Invisalign® or cosmetic treatments, including porcelain veneers.
Gum disease is easily treatable, and easily preventable. By practicing good oral hygiene, you can maintain your pearly whites for life.
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