How to Lower Your Risk for Periodontal Disease

 How to Lower Your Risk for Periodontal Disease

Caring for your oral health goes beyond looking after your teeth; you also need to pay attention to your gums to prevent periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is a common dental problem that typically starts with gingivitis, where your gums get inflamed. 

If periodontal disease isn’t diagnosed and treated properly, it can lead to severe oral health issues, like losing a tooth around the affected area. The most common cause of this condition is poor dental hygiene. Other factors that could contribute to your risk include genetics, smoking, or certain medical conditions like diabetes. 

Early signs of gum disease to look out for include red, swollen gums, bleeding when brushing or flossing, and bad breath. Watching out for these symptoms can help you prevent this dental problem.

Periodontal disease cannot always be avoided, which is why Dr. Wenli Loo and Dr. Steve Deng at LivWell Dentistry in San Francisco and San Ramon, California, use advanced treatments to help prevent and manage it.

In this article, we’ll share tips on how to lower your risk of developing gum disease.

Adhere to your oral hygiene routine

The most effective way to prevent periodontal disease is to practice good oral hygiene. For starters, you should brush your teeth at least twice a day. Don’t forget to floss daily, too. After brushing and flossing, use an antimicrobial mouthwash to remove leftover bacteria.

When you brush, use a toothbrush with soft bristles and fluoride toothpaste. Brush your teeth for two minutes, and cover every tooth. Avoid damage to your gums by using gentle, circular motions.

Flossing removes plaque and food particles from between your teeth and under your gum line. If you aren’t accustomed to flossing, it’s easy. You gently slide the floss between your teeth, curving it around each tooth, and moving it up and down. You may notice slight bleeding of your gums at first if you aren’t used to flossing, but don’t worry; this should stop as your gums become healthier. 

Have a healthy diet

Maintaining a balanced diet with plenty of vitamins and minerals helps keep your gums and teeth healthy and strong. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Foods like apples, carrots, and celery can also help clean your teeth naturally. 

On the other hand, consuming a lot of sugary foods and drinks can cause plaque buildup, leading to gum disease. When you indulge in a sweet treat, brush your teeth or rinse your mouth with water right after to reduce the impact on your teeth and gums.

Quit smoking

If you’re a chronic smoker, reducing your risk for periodontal disease is just one more reason to quit. Smoking weakens your immune system and makes it harder for your gums to heal.

Smoking is addictive, which makes it difficult to quit. If you’re struggling to stop, talk to your doctor about recommendations for counseling and medications to help you quit.

Stay hydrated

Drink plenty of water because that helps wash away food particles and bacteria. It also promotes saliva production,  which is essential to keeping your mouth healthy. 

Saliva neutralizes acids and contains enzymes that help fight infections. Staying hydrated ensures you produce enough saliva to protect your teeth and gums. Drink water throughout the day, especially after you eat, to help keep your mouth clean and fresh.

Visit your dentist regularly

Regular dental check-ups and cleanings are essential for preventing periodontal disease. By spotting early signs of gum disease, we can treat it before it gets worse.

Dental cleanings remove plaque and tartar that brushing and flossing alone can’t remove. We’ll also advise you on improving your oral hygiene routine during check-ups. We might also recommend additional treatments, like scaling and root planing, if you have signs of gum disease.

Periodontal disease is a serious dental condition that can quickly develop into complications that could trigger tooth loss. However, with good oral hygiene, a healthy diet, and regular visits to the dentist, you can protect your gums and keep them healthy. Schedule an appointment with us online, or call us at 415-477-3700 today.

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