6 Ways to Prevent Gum Disease

March 27, 2019 Lakeshore Dentistry

Holland MI Gum Disease DentistDid you know that gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss? The good news is that our dentists in Holland, MI, can help you protect your oral health. During your appointment, they’ll be able to determine if you’re a candidate for periodontal treatment. They’ll also be able to offer tips to help you prevent gum disease from the comfort of your own home.

Here’s how to get started.

1. Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Your best defense against gum disease is practicing good oral hygiene. This means brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time. You should also floss your teeth once a day to remove any plaque or food particles caught between teeth.

Brushing and flossing your teeth will remove plaque before it hardens into tartar. Once you develop periodontitis, you may benefit from gum disease treatment.

2. Get Enough Vitamin C

Bleeding gums is one of the top warning signs of gingivitis. But it could also be a sign that you’re not getting enough vitamin C in your diet. To increase your vitamin C intake, eat nutrient-rich foods like kale, oranges, and kiwis. You may also ask your doctor if a vitamin C supplement could help.

3. Reduce Your Sugar Intake

The bacteria that’s responsible for causing gum disease loves to eat sugar. In return, it produces an acid that erodes your enamel and attacks your gums.

While it’s a good idea to reduce how much sugar you consume, changing your diet is easier said than done. That’s why we recommend making small, sustainable changes to your diet over time. For example, reducing how much pop you drink can help improve your gum health over time.

4. Drink Water

Your saliva helps rinse away food particles and plaque. That’s why it’s important that you stay hydrated, especially during the summer months. You should also tell our dentists if you’re taking any medications that give you dry mouth.

5. Avoid Tobacco

Smokers are two times more likely to get gum disease compared to non-smokers. This is because smoking lowers your body’s ability to fight infections. It also makes it more difficult for your gums to heal.

Our dentists in Holland, MI, recommend staying away from all sources of tobacco, such as chewing tobacco and cigars. Also, avoid e-cigarettes since they contain nicotine, which comes from tobacco.

6. Teeth Cleanings

It’s important that you see our Holland dentists on a regular basis for preventive care. While you can remove plaque at home, only one of our dental professionals will be able to remove tartar.

In general, we recommend that you get a professional teeth cleaning at least every six months. Although, you may need to see our dentists more often if you have a chronic dental condition. For example, patients with periodontitis may need to see our dentists every three to four months.

Related: Are Teeth Cleanings Safe During Pregnancy? →

A teeth cleaning is also a good opportunity for us to spot the signs of gingivitis (gum inflammation). For example, one of our hygienists may notice that your gums bleed a little while flossing.

The sooner we’re able to spot gum issues, the sooner we’ll be able to help you restore your oral health. This is often done through oral hygiene counseling, as well as scaling and root planing for eligible patients.

Schedule Gum Disease Treatment

Ready to take the next step and improve your gum health? Schedule an appointment with one of our trusted dentists in Holland, MI. They’d be more than happy to determine if you’re a candidate for periodontal treatment. To get started, please call the Lakeshore Dentistry & Implant Center at (616) 399-3946. You may also fill out our online contact form and someone from our team will reach out to you soon.

This blog post has been updated.

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