Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is a common gum infection affecting as many as 47.2% of adults over age 30. Gum disease can cause halitosis, gum recession, bleeding gums, and tooth loss.
While our expert team in San Antonio, Texas offers gum disease treatments such as scaling and root planing as well as gum grafting, we want you to know that there are many ways to reduce your risk of developing gum disease in the first place — and many of these tips involve giving your at-home oral care routine a little makeover.
Here’s what you need to know about gum disease prevention, courtesy of The Masters Dental Group.
Gum disease is an infection that compromises the health of your gums, teeth, and jawbone. And plaque is at the source of this infection. This sticky film of bacteria covers your teeth, and too much plaque builds up and irritates your gum tissue.
This causes your gums to pull away, creating periodontal pockets. Bacteria and debris can accumulate in these pockets, leading to infections and inflamed gums. When your gums continue to pull away from your teeth, it can expose your tooth roots, causing sensitivity and pain.
The complications of untreated gum disease aren’t limited to your mouth. Studies show that untreated gum disease can increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke due to the excess inflammation.
The best way to prevent all of these complications is to try to prevent gum disease before it develops. Here’s how:
The best way to eliminate the plaque buildup associated with gum disease is to ensure that you thoroughly remove plaque each day. The American Dental Association recommends that you brush your teeth for a full two minutes, twice daily.
Tips: Some people, especially children, find it helpful to play a two-minute-long song or a timer to ensure that the full brushing duration is reached. Use a soft-bristled brush and a fluoride-containing toothpaste. Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle when brushing along your gum line.
Brushing is an excellent option for removing plaque from the surfaces of your teeth, but your toothbrush bristles can’t reach between your teeth. That’s where floss shines!
Floss daily to remove plaque from between your teeth and from along your gum line. Be gentle on your gum tissue, and never yank the floss through a tight space to snap against your gums. Create a “C” shape, curving around each tooth, and let the floss hug your teeth.
Regular dental cleanings and care can also help prevent gum tissue. During your cleaning, we use specific tools to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth. We also clean and polish your teeth and floss them. If you have questions about flossing or which flossing aids are right for you, don’t hesitate to ask.
In addition to ramping up your at-home oral care, there are a few lifestyle changes you can make to further reduce your risk of gum disease. These include:
Smoking 一 which doubles your risk of gum disease 一 is particularly harmful because it increases the amount of plaque you have and makes it more difficult for your gums to heal.
Do you notice a little blood in the sink when you brush your teeth? Red, tender, or bleeding gums can be a sign of gingivitis, the earliest form of gum disease. When caught at this stage, gum disease is often reversible. Don’t wait until the inflammation or tenderness gets worse.
If you have questions about gum disease or if you’d like to schedule a cleaning, give The Masters Dental Group a call at 210-349-4424 to book your appointment today.