How to Prevent Gum Disease

How to Prevent Gum Disease

Team Periodontics

Gum disease is extraordinarily prevalent.  In fact, nearly half of people over the age of 30 have some form of gum disease. So what is the other half doing to prevent gum disease? Or what could you be doing better to prevent gum disease? Read on for everything to know about keeping your gums healthy.

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease occurs when the gums and structures holding your teeth in place become infected. Patients with mild gum disease (gingivitis) may not have any symptoms, or they may exhibit swollen, red gums that bleed easily. 

In its early stages, gum disease is rarely painful. You may experience a bad taste in your mouth, sensitivity in your teeth, or mild pain when chewing. More severe gum disease puts your oral health and your overall health at risk, as the infection may enter your bloodstream. Known as periodontitis, severe gum disease is a  leading cause of tooth loss.  

What are the Risk Factors for Gum Disease?

Poor oral hygiene is the leading risk factor for developing gum disease. However, some people may be genetically predisposed to gum disease. Smoking and smokeless tobacco use are also risk factors for developing gum disease. Certain medications and hormonal changes associated with pregnancy may also increase your likelihood of developing gum disease.

Stress may also increase your risk of developing gum disease, as it can make it more difficult for your body to fight off infections, or it may lead to teeth grinding.  Finally, patients with diabetes and other systemic conditions including rheumatoid arthritis and cardiovascular disease may be at increased risk of gum disease. 

Preventing Gum Disease: Steps to Take

You may not be able to control the medications you take or chronic conditions that make you more likely to develop gum disease. Therefore, it’s vital that you practice excellent oral hygiene. Best practices to maintain good oral health include:

  • Brush your teeth for a full two minutes at least twice a day
  • Floss between every tooth daily
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Limit sugary beverages and snacks
  • See your dentist for cleanings and exams every six months
  • Follow your dentist’s instructions for additional steps (mouthwashes, water flossers, night guard to prevent teeth grinding, etc.)

Deep Cleanings for Gum Disease

If you are diagnosed with gum disease, your dentist will schedule you for scaling and root planing. Commonly referred to as a “deep cleaning,” scaling and root planing involve removing dental plaque from beneath the gum line. Then the tooth root is smoothed to promote the reattachment of gum tissue to the teeth. 

Your dentist may also apply an antibiotic medication in the pocket of the gum to fully eradicate any infection. Deep cleanings may be scheduled over several appointments, depending upon the severity of gum disease. 

Schedule a Dental Exam or Appointment for Tooth Pain in Mendham

If it’s been six months or longer since your last dental appointment, or if you’re experiencing any pain or other symptoms of gum disease, schedule a dental exam and cleaning today. At Dentistry of Mendham, Dr. Rajan provides plaque removal via deep cleanings to treat gum disease. Call 973-543-5700, or send a message to request an appointment.