Periodontal (gum) disease is a buildup of bacteria that, over time, forms a sticky, colorless plaque along the surface of the teeth. Plaque that isn’t removed by regular brushing eventually hardens to form tartar, which can only be removed by a dental cleaning. The longer plaque and tartar stay on the teeth, the more likely you are to get gingivitis, an early onset of periodontal disease.
Symptoms of gum disease include:
- Constant bad breath
- Red or swollen gums
- Tender or bleeding gums
- Painful chewing
- Loose teeth
- Sensitive teeth
- Receding gums
Although these symptoms may seem daunting, there are ways to prevent gum disease. Follow these tips to keep your teeth healthy and periodontal-free.
Maintain Daily Oral Care
The first step to prevent gum disease is to take care of your teeth daily. Regular brushing and flossing is key in eliminating plaque, which in turn will prevent gum disease. Brushing for at least two minutes, two to three times a day is recommended in order to have great, dental hygiene.
In addition to regular brushing, flossing and using mouthwash is helpful to clean all of the spots generally missed when brushing.
One of the main symptoms of periodontal disease is bad breath, normally caused by excess bacteria and leading to unhealthy gums. A good way to prevent bad breath is by maintaining a regular, healthy diet. Avoiding foods high in acidic content is an easy way to get all of the necessary nutrients needed while maintaining healthy oral hygiene.
Avoid Risk Behavior
A recent study found that one of the main contributors of periodontal disease is smoking cigarettes. In fact, people who smoke daily are six times more likely than nonsmokers to have periodontal disease. Apart from an increased risk of gum disease, smoking also increases the risk of having oral cancer. In short, avoid risk behavior such as smoking cigarettes to help steer clear of bigger, oral issues.
See a Dentist Regularly
As mentioned above, if plaque and tartar builds up and hardens, it’s nearly impossible to get rid of them without a professional dental cleaning. To avoid a massive, permanent build up, see a dentist regularly. They will be able to examine the state of your dental hygiene and see if you have much bigger issues like this going on. If you find that you do have periodontal disease, they can provide you with the necessary steps to a clean, healthy mouth again.