Gum Disease Prevention – Kernersville, NC
Protecting Your Mouth From the Start
Gum disease in Kernersville affects millions of people in the United States, many of whom don’t even know they have it. While the symptoms may appear mild in the beginning (i.e. reddening of the gums, puffiness, minor bleeding when brushing or flossing), the infection can rapidly escalate, leading to periodontitis and weakening of the bone and teeth. Dr. Zach Walker is all-too-familiar with the signs that indicate periodontal disease and offers patients a solution to combat the problem, but long before gum disease therapy is necessary, patients can take preventive measures to keep their soft oral tissues healthy from the start.
Some of the most effective ways to avoid red, inflamed, and bleeding gums include:
Brushing Your Teeth Twice a Day
Using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, brush your teeth twice a day for a full two minutes. This will help to remove any plaque-causing bacteria and food particles from the front side and back sides of your teeth. It is most beneficial if you brush after every meal, as this will prevent food debris from adhering to your teeth and gums. But don’t forget to brush your tongue during your routine as well, as it can harbor lots of bacteria and lead to halitosis (bad breath).
Floss at Least Once a Day
Whether you do it before or after your brush, make sure to floss between your teeth at least once a day. While experts may disagree as to what time of day is best, you can’t go wrong with flossing your teeth right before bedtime. Not only does this remove any stored bacteria or food particles from these tight crevices, but it also gives your mouth a clean slate in preparation for a full night’s sleep. Overnight, your mouth will accumulate plaque, but having a mouth that is already free of harmful particles will minimize the potential damage to your teeth and gums. If waxed dental floss proves too difficult to use, Dr. Walker can recommend an alternative, such as a water irrigator (i.e. WaterPik).
Don’t Forget to Use Mouthwash
When asking people what is included in their oral hygiene routine, it is using mouthwash that is most often forgotten. This is one of the most crucial aspects of cleaning your teeth and gums, as it flushes away anything left behind that brushing or flossing didn’t retrieve. Swishing vigorously twice a day can not only leave you with fresher breath, but it will effectively eliminate plaque-causing bacteria that leads to gingivitis. Your dentist can provide recommendations as to which types of mouthwash will most benefit your smile.
Learn if You are Considered High-Risk
While genetics isn’t something you can dictate, your lifestyle habits can play an impactful role in whether you are considered at risk for gum disease. If you have a family history of it, you might want to consider talking to your dentist about more regular checkups to ensure gum disease doesn’t become a problem. However, if you smoke, eat a diet full of sweets and carbohydrates, and are an older adult, you should know that you are considered high-risk for periodontal disease. Dr. Walker can discuss ways in which you can eliminate these bad habits and instead, trade them in for healthier ones that promote good oral and overall health and wellbeing.
Schedule an Appointment with a Periodontist
Whether you are considered high risk or not, it is beneficial to schedule a yearly appointment with a periodontist to ensure your gum health is at an optimal level. During these visits, you can expect them to examine your teeth, bite, soft tissues, jawbone, as well as the amount of plaque currently accumulated on your teeth. This will give them an idea as to whether there is a problem or if you might be at risk for gum disease in the future. By taking a proactive approach, you can avoid the many signs and symptoms associated with periodontal disease and enjoy a healthier, happier smile for a lifetime.
Schedule an Appointment
If you’re ready to learn more about ways in which you can prevent gum disease and take charge of your oral health, contact a member of our team today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Walker.