Many people are more focused on taking care of their teeth than on taking care of their gums. Unfortunately, dental health comes down to the latter issue in many ways, and if you’re not looking after your gums, you could be in for some serious problems down the road.
At Grace Dental Group, Woo Young Lee, DDS understands the seriousness of periodontitis or gum disease and the additional problems that arise when it occurs. This is why periodontal dentistry is an integral part of the services provided at our office.
Avoiding periodontitis is the goal
Rather than treating gum disease, you’ll want to ensure that you avoid the issue altogether. This is because, while gum disease can be treated in its early stage (also known as gingivitis), many people do not realize they have a problem at this point. Others might not take it seriously. This can all lead to periodontitis, the more advanced form of gum disease.
Periodontitis can be avoided by performing several easy, everyday actions. So why should we worry about it?
Because, according to the CDC, nearly 50% of adults over the age of 30 already have some form of periodontal disease. The problem also increases as we age. Over 70% of adults 65 and older are suffering from some form of periodontal disease. As you can see by these numbers, this highly preventable problem is widespread in the United States today.
The reason for this could be that many people don’t realize how dangerous periodontitis can be. Sadly, it can create further problems such as tooth and bone loss and even cause bacteria to spread to your bloodstream. This is why it is so important to avoid — rather than have to treat — periodontitis.
Five practices to help block periodontitis
Below are five tried-and-true methods that will allow you to keep your gums healthy and happy, which will help you avoid periodontitis and its possible side effects. These are all things you can do regularly to promote good gum health.
1. Brush twice daily
Many people already brush at least once a day, and this helps. But brushing twice a day is a great way to ensure cleanliness and to avoid food getting stuck between your teeth, an issue that can lead to the formation of plaque and eventually tartar. Make sure you also brush with a gum-healthy toothpaste and replace your toothbrush every three to four months.
2. Floss once daily
You don’t need to overdo it on flossing, but it’s necessary to floss once a day to keep your gums healthy. Make sure you floss before you brush, as flossing dislodges particles from between your teeth and brushing clears them away. You may also want to use a different type of floss, depending on the spacing between your teeth.
3. Use mouthwash after brushing
After you brush, use an antibacterial mouthwash. Many brands sell mouthwashes specifically built for gum health. Using mouthwash after you brush helps prevent inflammation, and it keeps bacteria from growing between your teeth, which can attack the gums.
4. Avoiding certain products
This is the step that can be challenging for some people, but avoiding certain foods, drinks, and tobacco products is also helpful for preventing gum disease. First of all, if you currently eat a lot of sugar, it can help to cut back. Not only is it bad for your gums, but it’s not great for your overall health.
Certain other foods can also be dangerous for gum health. Acidic foods and juices, for example, can also erode the gumline if they are consumed in excessive amounts. Also, sodas and sports drinks often contain high amounts of sugar. Finally, if you are a smoker, your chances of getting gum disease are much higher, as 64% of current smokers have it.
5. Getting regular checkups
Visiting your dentist every six months is highly important for avoiding periodontitis. When you come to our office, we will see if you are at risk for gum disease and determine how severe the problem might be. A regular cleaning might be enough, or a deep cleaning may be in order. Either way, this is essential for preventing periodontitis, especially as you age.
Make an appointment today
Periodontitis is a serious problem, but you can prevent it with a few daily practices and regular dentist visits. To make an appointment at our San Francisco, CA office, feel free to book online or call (415) 921-8867 today.