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What can I do to avoid periodontitis?

The best way to avoid periodontitis is to practice good oral hygiene and see your dentist regularly. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss regularly, use mouth wash, and see your dentist for regular cleanings. And even if you do develop periodontitis, there are treatments your dentist can use to help.

To avoid periodontitis or severe gum disease, start with excellent dental hygiene habits. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and after eating meals, and floss once a day or more. Use a fluoride toothpaste each time you brush and an antiseptic mouth rinse that targets mouth bacteria.

In addition, see your dentist twice a year for professional cleanings and oral exams. The dental hygienist can clean between the teeth and the gums to remove hardened tartar (calculus) that can lead to periodontitis. Your dentist can check for any early warning signs of gum disease, which, if left untreated, can lead to inflammation, pain, bone infection, and tooth loss.

In addition, don't smoke cigarettes, as smoking increases the risk of gum disease.
 
Carol Jahn
Dentist

The best way to avoid periodontitis is not smoke. Smoking is the number one risk factor for periodontal disease. If you have diabetes, this increases your risk for the disease, but if you keep your diabetes under control you have a better chance of keeping your gums healthy. It is also important for everyone, regardless of risk, to use something to clean between your teeth every day. Brushing cannot get between teeth where gum disease generally starts. Floss is often difficult for many people to do correctly. Other products that are effective as well as easy to use include interproximal brushes and a water flosser.

Just as with many systemic health problems, you may not be able to completely avoid periodontal disease but you certainly can take important steps to maintain the health of your gums. 

Your periodontal health should be evaluated at least every year; however, it is certainly better to have your gums checked twice a year at your periodic continuing care (recall) visits. At these visits your teeth are cleaned and the teeth, fillings, restorations and oral mucosa are also examined. If any signs of dental disease are noted, treatment can be advised to improve and/or control the problem.

Excellent oral hygiene is essential, along with dental cleanings twice a year and sometimes more often. Proper effective home care consists of effective regular brushing, interproximal cleaning with floss and/or interdental cleaning devices and possible use of other special oral cleaning devices as advised by your dentist or hygienist for your specific needs.

It should also be noted that a good diet and nutrition and control of sugar levels and diabetes are vital to good periodontal health.
 
 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.