5 Ways You Can Prevent Gum Disease

Gum disease prevention dentist West Columbus Oh

5 Ways You Can Prevent Gum Disease

Gum disease prevention dentist West Columbus OH

It’s estimated that almost half of American adults aged 30 and older have some form of gum disease. While gingivitis is the earliest stage and can be reversed by both at-home care and help from our Columbus, OH, dentist, later stage periodontitis can lead to bone and tooth loss if not treated.

Thankfully, preventing gum disease is not impossible if you commit to a regular routine. In addition to the information we’ve provided below, we encourage you to reach out to our Columbus dental office today if you have any questions or concerns about your oral health.

Here’s what you can do to help prevent the onset of the condition.

1.) Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Gum disease is caused by untreated dental plaque buildup on your teeth and gums. While you’ll still need a professional teeth cleaning to get rid of tartar (hardened plaque), brushing your teeth at home at least twice a day and using a mouth rinse still helps and is highly important.

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And you may have heard this before, but flossing is also important! Make sure you floss thoroughly once daily to remove plaque hidden between teeth and along the gum line. Need help fine-tuning your floss method? Try following these instructions:

  • Tear off about 18-24 inches of floss.
  • Wrap most of the floss around both of your middle fingers, leaving about 1-2 inches for use on your teeth.
  • Use your thumbs and index fingers to tightly hold the floss and place it between two teeth.
  • Carefully and gently move the floss up and down to rub it against both sides of each tooth. Try not to glide the floss into your gums as this can cause scratching and bruising.
  • Curve the floss into a “C” shape once it reaches your gums so it hugs the base of your tooth. By doing this, you’re allowing the floss to enter the space between your gums and tooth.
  • Repeat the above steps until you’ve finished flossing between every tooth (even behind your back molars!) and use a clean section of floss as you go.

Remember, if you forget to brush your teeth once, it’s not the end of the world. But if you routinely forget to brush, floss, or manage your oral health, you run the risk of complications like gum disease.

2.) Get More Vitamin C

Vitamin C deficiency has been found to be one of the leading causes of gum disease.

While there are options like Vitamin C tablets, there are also natural methods like eating healthier foods. You may think of fruits right away, but we do want to caution you about how fruits can be like a double-edged sword. They may be high in Vitamin C, but you have to be cautious about the sugars in them. After eating sugary and oftentimes acidic foods like fruit, it is beneficial to rinse your mouth with water or later brush your teeth to help flush sugar residues.

We recommend integrating these Vitamin C rich foods into your diet:

  • Kiwis
  • Strawberries
  • Oranges
  • Guavas
  • Peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Snow Peas

Vitamin C supplements can help boost your resistance against gum disease too but check with your doctor before taking them. Vitamin C has some other health benefits that could help stop your gums from bleeding and swelling, which are common gum disease symptoms.

3.) Eat a Balanced Diet

While vitamin C is important, a balanced diet is equally valuable.

Not only is a balanced diet good for your smile, but it can help improve overall health. A balanced diet filled with vitamins and minerals can boost your immune system and help prevent gum disease, tooth decay, and other oral health concerns.

Before putting something in your grocery cart, be sure to check the nutritional information on the package. Many of the foods and drinks we believe to be healthy can contain high levels of sugar like fruit juices and sports drinks.

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Remember our tip for consuming these if you choose to, that you should try and rinse your mouth with water to prevent the sugars from sitting on your teeth.

4.) Stay Hydrated

While it may seem weird to think about, saliva is one of our best natural defenses against dental plaque.

After you eat a meal, your body produces more saliva to wash away plaque and food particles. To maintain a healthy smile, make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day. Also, keep in mind that certain drinks (like coffee and alcohol) can dehydrate you and stain your teeth.

A few popular alternatives to sugary drinks that can actually benefit your teeth are:

  • Green teas
  • Sugarless chewing gums
  • Milk

Next time you want something like pop or highly concentrated juice, try to go with one of these options instead!

5.) Schedule Regular Teeth Cleanings

During a teeth cleaning, our dental hygienists can remove plaque from teeth. Later on, your dentist will be able to check for the signs of gum disease. You may not want to visit the dentist, but doing so can help you maintain a healthy smile.

While gingivitis is reversible, periodontitis is not. If Dr. Gibson discovers advanced gum disease, he may recommend the scaling and root planing procedure to help prevent receding gums and other oral health issues.

Since patients with periodontitis have deep gum pockets around teeth, Dr. Gibson will most likely recommend gum disease treatment to get your smile back on track.

Want More Dental Advice?

Gibson Dental is dedicated to helping patients maintain healthy smiles. Whether it’s through routine teeth cleanings or other preventive dentistry services, our dentist in Columbus, OH, is here to help. Feel free to request an appointment online or give us a call today at (614) 878-9562.

This blog post has been updated.