How to Prevent Gum Disease

What's the other name for gum disease? It's periodontitis, but whatever you call it, this dangerous oral health condition can be prevented. At Dr. Mark Richardson's office in Kalamazoo, MI, your dentist shows patients effective ways to have healthy gums and a bright smile. Talk to the Kalamazoo dentist today!

Just what is gum disease?

It's an oral infection that steadily erodes supporting gum tissue and underlying bone. Having its start with bacteria in plaque and tartar, periodontitis loosens teeth. The National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research says gum disease is the leading reason why Americans lose their smiles. Studies also link it to systemic health issues such as heart attack, diabetes, and stroke. Gum disease can, however, be prevented. Schedule an appointment with your Kalamazoo dentist to start treatment right away.

Know the signs and symptoms

The more you know about gum disease, the better your oral and systemic health will be. Symptoms may be mild or even unnoticeable at first. However, signs can escalate to include:

1. Bleeding when you brush

2. Bad breath

3. Pus between teeth and under gums

4. Redness, swelling, pain, and tenderness

5. Sores in the mouth

6. Changes in dental bite and alignment (gaps)

7. Loose teeth

8. Deep gum pockets (the spaces between your teeth and gums)

Protecting your smile

The battle against periodontal disease starts with you in the privacy of your own home. Your Kalamazoo dentist wants all his patients to follow through with these oral hygiene habits:

  1. Brush your teeth, gums, tongue, and roof of your mouth every day for a minimum of two minutes. Do not scrub, but use a gentle, circular motion to clean all oral surfaces.
  2. Floss every day, preferably at bedtime.
  3. Use an anti-plaque mouth wash as your dentist advises.
  4. Eat well. That means limited sugar and carbs, increased fiber, calcium and protein, and plenty of water.
  5. Stop smoking or chewing tobacco. Both are toxic to every structure in your mouth.
  6. Report bleeding, pus, changes in gum color, pain, sores, or other symptoms to your Kalamazoo dentist as soon as possible.
  7. Get six-month cleanings and check-ups in the office.

If you have active gum disease, Dr. Richardson can help manage it with deep cleanings, antibiotics, gum grafting, and other specialty services.

Keep smiling

Your gum health is incredibly important to your overall health. Please keep at your oral hygiene routine, and we look forward to seeing you for your regular check-up at Dr. Mark Richardson's office in Kalamazoo MI. If you have questions for your dentist, phone us at (269) 343-6907.

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