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How do I manage my periodontitis on a daily basis?

If you notice swelling and redness in the tissues around your teeth, you may have periodontitis, a form of periodontal disease. Talk to your dentist right away if you notice these symptoms. Periodontitis occurs when plaque by-products lead to the destruction of the tissues that anchor teeth in the bone. As the disease progresses, pockets form and allow more plaque to collect below the gum line. Tooth roots are exposed and may become at risk for decay and are sensitive to cold and touch. In advanced periodontitis, the teeth lose more support as the disease continues to destroy the periodontal ligament and bone. Unless treated, the affected teeth frequently become loose and may fall out or require removal by a dentist.

Regular dental visits and deep cleanings can help you manage your periodontal disease. Good oral hygiene at home is also important. If you use tobacco, ask your dentist or physician for information about how to stop.

You don't have to lose teeth to periodontal disease. Brush, clean between your teeth, eat a balanced diet and schedule regular dental visits for a lifetime of healthy smiles.

Manage your periodontitis on a daily basis by following your dentist's recommendations. See your dentist for regular cleanings and treatments. Additionally, practice good oral hygiene by brushing twice daily, flossing daily, and using mouth wash.

Carol Jahn
Dentist
The best way to manage your periodontal disease on a daily basis is with good self-care; tooth brushing twice daily and cleaning between teeth once a day. 

When it comes to tooth brushing, take your time. Two minutes can help you remove the most amount of plaque. This is true for manual and power brushes. If you are considering a power brush, one that has a 2 minute timer with 30 second indicator to move to a different area of your mouth is a great choice.

For between teeth cleaning, the type of product you use depends on your periodontal condition. If you have residual pockets, dental floss will not be your best choice as it is limited in how deep it can clean below the gumline. If you have wide spaces between your teeth, an interdental brush is a good choice. Another excellent choice is a Water Flosser. The Water Flosser has been tested on people trying to manage their periodontal disease in several studies and found to be an excellent way to improve gum health especially in reducing bleeding gums and maintaining periodontal pockets. It has been tested against string floss three times and been shown to be a more effective alternative for improving gum health.
To manage your periodontitis on a daily basis, dentists recommend these steps:
  • Brush your teeth twice a day.
  • Floss or use an interdental cleaner (a special small brush also called a proxy brush) to clean the spaces between your teeth every day.
  • Use an antiseptic mouthwash at least once a day.
  • Don't smoke or use tobacco products.
  • Visit your periodontist, dentist, or dental hygienist at least twice a year for a professional cleaning and checkup.

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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.