You may not think of periodontal disease often, but the truth is that it’s very common amongst adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 47.2% of adults over the age of thirty have some sort of gum disease. 71% of adults aged 65 and older have periodontal disease. You certainly don’t want to add to these statistics which is why maintaining healthy gums is so important. Here are some steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing gingivitis and periodontitis.
Brush Twice Daily
You know this one! Brushing after meals helps to remove food and plaque that is trapped on and around your teeth and gums. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to prevent damage to the soft tissues of your mouth and your protective tooth enamel. Also give your tongue a quick scrub because it harbors bacteria which can find its way to your gum tissue.
Even though brushing goes a long way to keep your teeth and gums healthy, it isn’t enough. Flossing helps to remove plaque and bacteria that your toothbrush cannot reach, including below the gumline. It doesn’t matter when you floss but do it at least once per day!
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
When you go in for your regular dental cleanings, the dental team removes buildups of plaque and tartar that you couldn’t get yourself. Your dentist in Medford is trained to detect early signs of gum disease so it can be addressed and reversed in its early stages through periodontal treatment. If you have gingivitis, regular brushing, flossing, and dental visits can help to restore your gums to health.
When you’re choosing your dental products, like toothpaste, look for one that has the ADA seal of acceptance and contains fluoride. This natural mineral is commonly used in dentistry to strengthen your tooth enamel, therefore preventing cavities and other issues in the mouth.
Quit Smoking Tobacco Products
Smoking is often associated with the onset of periodontal disease. Using tobacco weakens your immune system, making it more difficult for your body to fight off infections in the mouth. This means that if you develop gingivitis, it will be more difficult for your gums to heal and become healthy again. Talk to your doctor, friends, and family about the best ways you can quit.
Even though using a mouth rinse isn’t a substitute for brushing or flossing, it can help prevent plaque buildups, gingivitis, and tartar by reducing bacteria in the mouth and washing away food debris. Look for the ADA seal of acceptance when you are choosing a mouthwash.
Your mouth can tell a lot about your overall health. After all, it is the gateway to the rest of your body. Take these steps in order to keep your gums healthy and your teeth strong.
About the Author
Dr. Anthony Giamberardino provides a wide variety of services, including periodontal treatment, at his practice in Medford, MA. After obtaining his Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Harvard College, he earned his Doctor of Dental Medicine from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and has gained over three decades of experience. He is a member of numerous professional organizations including the American Dental Association and the Massachusetts Dental Society. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit his website or call (781) 396-3800.