Teeth and gums are sturdy, but they are not invincible. Just as bacteria cause teeth to decay, they can infect gum tissue. Fortunately, you can prevent gum disease with good habits, just as you can use these same methods to avoid decay.
Brushing and Flossing
Gum disease is caused by the buildup of oral bacteria, also known as plaque, near the base of the teeth. As the bacteria collects into this sticky film, they both erode the enamel and irritate the gums. This irritation causes the early stage of gum disease, gingivitis. If that plaque is not removed completely in 24 hours, it hardens into tartar. The gums will recede because of tartar’s presence, which is the defining trait of gum disease’s advanced form, periodontitis.
Brush and floss your teeth twice a day. This daily hygiene habit removes plaque before it has a chance to become tartar, preventing both forms of gum disease. The routine also removes the acids bacteria produce, which is why brushing and flossing also prevent tooth decay.
Reduce Sugar Consumption
Oral bacteria feed on the food particles left over from your meals. However, the food that fuels them most efficiently is sugar. As they eat sugar and other foods, they produce decay-causing acids and infect the gums.
While you can’t stop oral bacteria from having contact with any food you eat, you can deny them their favorite snack. Reduce your consumption of foods and drinks with high sugar content. The less candy, ice cream, soda, and sweet tea you consume, the less likely you are to contract gum disease.
Also, if you replace sugary beverages with water, your drinks will scramble the bacteria and prevent them from turning into plaque. This habit makes it easier to remove plaque with a toothbrush.
Stop Using Tobacco Products
In addition to brushing and flossing, your saliva helps prevent plaque development. Just like water, saliva disorganizes the bacteria so that they cannot collect into a film. However, cigarettes and other tobacco products dry out the mouth. To let your body’s natural defense against gingivitis work, stop using tobacco.
Contact Our Greely Practice for Cleanings
These steps all help you prevent gum disease. However, they are still not enough on their own to guarantee that you will never have gingivitis. You still need to see a dentist at least every six months; they can provide a professional cleaning that eliminates any remaining plaque or tartar.
Thompson Advanced Dentistry is your resource in Greely for the thorough dental cleanings that prevent gum disease. To schedule your six-month appointments with Dr. Joseph Thompson, call our practice today!