Periodontal disease, whether in its early stages or the more advanced type known as periodontitis, can cause some serious health problems. This type of disease can happen to anyone if the gums and teeth aren’t taken care of in the right way. Knowing how to prevent periodontal disease starts by knowing why it happens, so read on to find out what you can do to prevent it from happening to you.
How Periodontal Disease Starts
Plaque begins to accumulate on the teeth after you eat or drink. It builds up quickly, but it’s easy to remove with good brushing and flossing habits. If you don’t brush or floss properly, the plaque builds up and starts to attract bacteria. As that bacteria begins to accumulate in and around the gums and teeth, inflammation and irritation begin. At this early point, it can still be treated effectively, but if it’s ignored the problem becomes much more serious.
Untreated periodontal disease will turn into the advanced periodontal disease known as periodontitis. If you develop periodontitis, you’re at risk for bone loss, loss of gum tissue, tooth loss, and even health problems throughout your body. An advanced periodontal disease may be connected to severe health problems like diabetes and heart disease.
Preventing Periodontal Disease: Five Things You Can Do
There are several things that you can do to help prevent periodontal disease, including all of the following.
- Brush Twice a Day: Simply by brushing your teeth twice a day, you’re taking an extremely important step in preventing periodontal disease. The technique and the time are the most important things when it comes to daily brushing. Be sure to use a technique that covers all teeth equally using gentle pressure — don’t neglect those back teeth, as they’re a common breeding ground for bacteria. Brush for two full minutes each time. The ideal brushing routine includes a brushing routine upon awakening and just before bed.
- Floss Once a Day: Flossing is just as important as brushing when it comes to preventing periodontal disease. While careful brushing will remove the vast majority of plaque and debris, it can be challenging to cover those small crevices between the teeth. Flossing deals with those areas perfectly — it removes even the plaque and debris that’s hard to see. Be sure to floss around every tooth, going to the gumline. If you don’t floss regularly right now, you might bleed lightly as you begin but this won’t last long.
- Use a Special Mouthwash: Your dentist can recommend a mouthwash that’s specially made to guard against periodontal disease. This type of mouthwash can help deter plaque buildup between brushings, and when it’s combined with a good brushing and flossing routine it can be highly effective.
- Schedule Regular Visits With Your Dentist: Most people need to see the dentist for a check-up at least once a year. If your periodontal disease risk is high, you might need to see the dentist 2-4 times a year. Patients who are mid-40s or older, patients who smoke, and people with a history of periodontal disease in their family have an increased risk. These visits are extremely important in recognizing the early signs of periodontal disease so that effective treatment can begin.
- Have Regular Dental Cleanings: Most patients need a dental cleaning twice a year — however, as with check-ups, this can increase if you’re in a high-risk group for periodontal disease. A dental cleaning removes any plaque or tartar that you might have missed during your daily cleaning routine, and it’s very effective in reaching the areas that are more challenging to reach.
Trying to prevent periodontal disease so you can enjoy the best oral health possible? The team at Artistic Touch Dentistry is here for you. Dr. Maryam Brazdo and her dedicated team of professionals can help with periodontal disease prevention as well as check-ups, cosmetic dentistry, fillings, dental implants, extractions, sealants, and much more. Contact us today to learn more about how you can enjoy your best oral health!