You're more likely to struggle with periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, that n you might think. According to the CDC, around half of all adults in the United States older than 30 will be affected by gum disease.
There's a lot you can do to protect your gum health, including easy everyday actions. If you avoid gum disease, you won't need to deal with expensive and potentially severe dental health issues down the road. At Harbor Community Health Centers of San Pedro, California, our care team can help you prevent – and, if necessary, treat – periodontal disease. Here are 10 of our most-used tricks to slow and eradicate gum disease.
1. Rinse after eating
It might not seem like much, but you can limit bacteria and debris in your mouth by rinsing with water after eating. Your gums don't have to cope with build ups if you wash out pockets of leftover food and residues.
2. Brush regularly and gently
Your first and best line of defense against gum disease is thorough and consistent dental hygiene—brushing your teeth at least twice a day. Use gentle motions, as hard scrubbing can damage your dental enamel and potentially weaken your teeth.
3. Don't skip flossing
You need to floss your teeth at least once a day, if not more often. Flossing plays an essential role in deterring gum disease, so be sure not to skip this step!
4. Quit smoking
Smoking tobacco increases your oral tartar levels and also damages your circulation and bone health. This combination is bad news for gum disease, so quit or cut back to avoid oral health problems.
5. Check on your nutrition
A lack of necessary vitamins and nutrients, especially vitamin C, can damage your gums. Boost your vitamin C levels with supplements, or eat more helpings of vegetables like oranges, kale, and broccoli.
6. Protect your teeth from grinding
If you're grinding or clenching your teeth, also known as bruxism, you can damage your gums and dental enamel. Use a nightguard to protect your teeth from overnight grinding, and avoid clenching your teeth during the daytime hours.
7. Reduce your stress levels
When your stress gets out of hand, it affects your immune system, leaving you more vulnerable to gum disease. Even though life can get extremely stressful, find ways to relax and cope with your stress, to support your whole-body health.
8. Talk to a dentist about tooth-straightening treatments
If your teeth are crooked or close together, you have more pockets where harmful bacteria can grow, increasing your gum disease risk. Even if you missed out on getting braces as a teenager, we can still do a lot to straighten your smile.
9. Stick to your scheduled cleanings
We recommend that most patients come into the office twice yearly for scheduled professional cleanings. These appointments also give us a chance to check on your gum health. We can catch any developing problems early and recommend the right treatments to resolve them.
10. Take action on troubling symptoms
If you notice gum disease symptoms, including tenderness, inflammation, and bleeding in your gums, contact the Harbor Community Health Centers’ dental team right away to schedule an appointment. You’ll get the best results from prompt diagnosis and treatment.
To talk to a member of the Harbor Community Health Centers team about your gum disease concerns, give us a call today, or schedule an appointment with our dentist throughwith our online tool.