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Learn more about the importance of periodontal dentistry and dental implants.

Preventative Measures for Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is another term for gum disease. Basically, it’s an infection in which oral bacteria take up residence and start replicating within your gum tissue. The early symptoms usually include red and swollen gums, bleeding while brushing, and feelings of tenderness.

If you don’t treat periodontal disease, it can eventually lead to tooth loss. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways you can help protect yourself from this condition. Here are a few top tips.

Brush Twice A Day
Did you know that brushing is not just good for your teeth? It’s good for your gums, too. Brushing your teeth reduces the number of oral bacteria in your mouth, which can help reduce your risk of periodontal disease. When you brush, make sure you spend plenty of time focusing on the gum line – where your teeth meet up with your gums. This will go even further in terms of gum disease prevention.

Change Your Toothbrush Often
Older toothbrushes can hold onto bacteria when their bristles become frayed and overly porous. When you brush your teeth and introduce these bacteria to your mouth, you increase your risk of gum disease. Make sure you’re changing your toothbrush at least every three months. Sometimes, it helps to keep a small stockpile of new brushes on-hand so you don’t have to run to the store for a new one every time.

Floss Daily
Flossing helps remove all of the plaque from between your teeth. Plaque, that sticky film you probably notice on your teeth when you haven’t brushed in a while, is full of oral bacteria that can contribute to gum disease.

Most people should floss at least once a day. If your gums bleed when you floss, that may mean you have a minor case of gum disease. Start flossing more often, and follow the other tips on this list. Chances are, the bleeding will stop within a week or two.

Try Floss Picks
If you struggle to get regular floss between your teeth, try using flossing picks instead. Some people find them easier to maneuver and easier to pull out from between their teeth. Kids, especially, tend to like them. Every brand has a slightly different shape, so you may need to try a few options before you find one that you love.

Go Easy on the Sugar
You don’t have to swear off birthday cake forever. And you don’t have to eliminate all sugar from your diet. But you should seek to reduce or minimize the amount of sugar you consume. The bacteria that cause periodontal disease feed on sugar. So, the more sugar you consume, the faster they’ll grow and replicate.

Here are some simple ways to reduce the sugar in your diet:

- Replace sugary beverages with sugar-free options like water and unsweetened tea
- Reach for a protein-rich snack like nuts or a cheese-stick instead of baked goods
- Choose cereals with lower sugar content

If you currently consume a lot of sugar, try to reduce your intake slowly. This is often easier than cutting it all out at once.Use MouthwashLook for an antiseptic mouthwash, and use it at least once a day. The best time to use it is after you have brushed and flossed. Use the full amount recommended on the bottle, and swish it around thoroughly to make sure it goes between all of your teeth. This way, it will have plenty of contact with your gums and can kill any bacteria before they start causing gum disease.

If you find mouthwash too strong or unpleasant, look for an alcohol-free variety. They tend to be less harsh.

See Your Board Certified Periodontist
When plaque is not removed from your teeth, it turns into a crusty, calcified substance called tartar. Tartar contains oral bacteria, and since it often accumulates along the gum line, it can make periodontal disease a big concern.

You can’t remove tartar yourself. Your periodontist in Kansas City needs to remove it using specialized instruments. So, this is a good reason to keep up with routine dental cleanings. Your hygienist can remove tartar when there’s only a little bit present, and this should help prevent you from developing periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease can be tough to treat once it develops. Gum grafts, deep cleanings, and other more intensive approaches are often necessary. Luckily, it’s not that hard to prevent gum disease in the first place if you follow the tips above and the tips from your periodontist or dentist.

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