Periodontal disease (also known as gum disease or gingivitis) is one of the leading causes of adult tooth loss. Fortunately, it’s preventable. Here are some tips for keeping your gums healthy.
Gum disease is caused by plaque, a bacterial film that forms on the teeth. Good toothbrushing habits are your first line of defense against plaque. Brush at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Replace your toothbrush every three or months – bacteria can collect on old, frayed bristles.
Dental floss removes plaque from between your teeth and under your gum line, where your toothbrush can’t reach. Floss daily, preferably right before bed when you’re done eating for the day.
Even with diligent brushing and flossing, some bacteria can remain in your mouth. Rinsing with mouthwash once or twice a day can kill these stubborn bacteria and prevent plaque buildup.
Plaque that remains on teeth will harden into tartar, which can lead to periodontitis and other serious health problems. Visiting your dentist twice a year for professional teeth cleaning is the best way to combat tartar.
If your gums are bloody, swollen, or tender, you may already be in the early stages of periodontal disease. Contact Family Dental Center to learn how to reverse it and prevent it from recurring.