3 Ways To Stop Gum Disease In Its Tracks

If your dentist has informed you that your gums show signs of gum disease, it's natural to be worried. Gum disease is not just bad for your teeth and oral health, it's also been linked with serious conditions like heart disease, stroke, and even Alzheimer's disease. You'll want to do everything you can to make sure that you stop the progression of gum disease before it gets more serious. The good news is, you can stop gum disease and even reverse the damage in many cases, especially if it's caught early. Take a look at a few of the most effective ways to stop gum disease.

Quit Smoking

Dentists know that if you have gum disease, there's a good chance that you're a smoker. How do they know that? Because smoking is one of the top risk factors for gum disease, and more than 40% of periodontitis cases are attributable to gum disease. One of the best things that you can do for yourself if you're showing signs of gum disease is to kick the nicotine habit.

It's important to talk to your dentist about your smoking habit. They need to know in order to plan appropriate treatment, and your dentist may be able to provide smoking cessation referrals, resources, and support to help you give up the cigarettes.

Brush and Floss

It sounds basic, but if your gums are showing signs of gum disease, it's a good bet that you need to step up your brushing and flossing regimen. Gum disease occurs when plaque on your teeth hardens into tartar, which can happen in a matter of hours. Plaque is forming on your teeth all the time, so the only way to keep it under control is with frequent brushing and flossing. Brushing eliminates plaque from the exposed surfaces of the tooth, while floss is the only way you can remove plaque between teeth and underneath the gum line.

Ask your dentist to evaluate your brushing and flossing techniques – if you're brushing and flossing regularly and still have gum disease, there's a chance that your technique is not effective and you need to learn new brushing and flossing habits. Your dentist may also recommend a specialized toothbrush designed for more efficient plaque removal, or toothpaste or mouth washes that are FDA-approved to fight gum disease.

In-Office Treatments

Your dentist may also ask that you visit the dentist more frequently than you currently do. In addition to routine cleaning and polishing, your dentist may recommend scaling and root planing procedures. Scaling refers to the procedure of scraping your teeth with dental tools, both above and below the gum line, to remove built up plaque and tartar. Root planing is when your dentists smooths down rough spots that occur on the root of your tooth. Those rough spots tend to accumulate bacteria, so smooting them away can help to reduce infection.

In some cases, dentist may prescribe antibiotics to help get rid of infection-causing bacteria in your mouth. However, because the overuse of oral antibiotics can actually lead to drug-resistant bacteria, your dentist may choose to use newer localized antibiotics that are designed to be placed in the pocket of your gums, where the bacteria is likely to be, and released slowly over time.

It's vital to both your oral health and your overall health that you work with your dentist to stop gum disease as soon as you or your dentist notice symptoms. The sooner you stop the progression of gum disease, the less damage it can do to your health. For more information, contact a dentist, like one from Pinon Hills Dental.