5 Ways to Prevent Gum Disease

It starts with tender gums that bleed ever so slightly when you brush. You may notice a pink tinge to your toothpaste when you spit in the sink. This stage of gum disease is called gingivitis, and if you ignore it, it can progress to a more advanced problem called periodontitis, which can destroy your gums, teeth, bones, and the tissues that connect them.

Gum disease affects almost half of all Americans over the age of 30 and about 70% of those over 65. But just because it finds its way into so many mouths doesn’t mean it’s inevitable.

Dr. James Butler at Innovative Dental Ideas in Hilliard, Ohio believes strongly in the power of prevention when it comes to saving your gums from disease and infection. The way to stop disease from setting up shop in your gums is simple and easy, yet many people still neglect these basic steps of oral health care. Here are five things you can do to avoid gum disease.

1.  Brush your teeth twice a day

Brushing your teeth twice a day gets rid of food particles that get stuck in, on, and around your teeth. If you could brush your teeth after every meal, that would be ideal, but it’s not always possible. But food that stays in your mouth promotes bacterial growth that breeds gum disease.

When bacteria multiply, they form a film called plaque on the surface of your teeth that creeps under your gums. If it stays there long enough, it hardens into a material called tartar. And because tartar under the gum line is hard to reach and hard to remove, inflammation and infection set in.

Using a soft-bristled brush or an electric or battery-operated brush after your meals is the first line of defense in preventing plaque, tartar, and gum disease.

2. Floss at least once a day

Brushing is a critical step in keeping bacteria out of your mouth, but without its partner, flossing, it’s only partially effective. Flossing gets to the places your toothbrush can’t reach, particularly in between teeth. Those tight spaces need the specialized function of ultrathin floss that sweeps away plaque hiding in the nooks and spaces just under the gum line.

3. Choose the right toothpaste

Standing in the toothpaste aisle can be overwhelming — so many tubes, so many claims, and so many questions. The truth is, as long as you choose one that’s approved by the American Dental Association and contains at least 1,000 parts per million of fluoride, you can feel good about your choice.

Beyond that, there are a few features that may appeal to you, such as whitening formulas, enamel strengtheners, and tooth-sensitivity products. While none of these are extremely powerful, they do help enough to warrant grabbing a tube with your favorite feature. The bottom line is that the toothpaste you actually use is the one that’s going to be the most effective.

4. Quit smoking

Although we claimed this list of preventive measures was simple, we realize that kicking the smoking habit may be easier said than done. But committing to getting rid of tobacco products goes a long way toward keeping your gums healthy. That’s because smoking affects your immune system, which, in turn, impacts your ability to fight off infections like gum disease.

5. Get regular professional cleanings

Gingivitis can be stopped and reversed, but it may take more than your toothbrush and floss can do on their own. Professional dentists and hygienists like those on our team here at Innovative Dental Ideas use specially designed tools to carefully reach where your brush and floss can’t. We can remove plaque before it turns to tartar and causes significant damage.

We continually upgrade our equipment, engage in ongoing professional development, and use the most advanced technology, including safe sedation, to make sure your experience with us is comfortable and effective. That way you’ll want to keep your bi-annual check-up appointments.

Our office is 100% compliant with all CDC and ADA guidelines to ensure the health and safety of you and our staff. Check out our COVID-19 updates here. To schedule a check-up with our team and take steps to prevent gum disease, contact us by phone at 614-529-0062 or send us a message online today. 

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