A Root Canal

How To Manage And Prevent Periodontal Disease

Healthy gums contribute to a healthy mouth. Dentists can diagnose and treat periodontal disease. However, patients must do their part to seek preventative care and take advantage of professional treatments. Here are four things you can do to manage and prevent periodontal disease.

1. Avoid tobacco products.

Tobacco products can negatively impact your tooth and gum health. Some people choose smokeless tobacco options, such as chewing tobacco, in an effort to spare their lungs from lung damage. However, chewing tobacco can cause your gums to recede, which can contribute to gum disease. Smoking can also worsen gum disease since it can have an inhibiting effect on your immune system. When trying to prevent or manage periodontal disease, you should avoid using tobacco products. 

2. Brush and floss your teeth daily.

Home care is important for overall tooth and gum health. You can protect your gums by brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing your teeth daily. Daily flossing can help you prevent gingivitis. If you're not sure if you're flossing correctly, you can ask your dentist to give you pointers. Using a gentle see-sawing motion when flossing will allow you to remove plaque and bacteria from below the gum line.

3. Do not skip routine dental appointments.

Routine dental appointments are an important aspect of preventative care. At your biannual dental checkups, your dentist will floss between your teeth and scrape tartar from your tooth enamel using a sharp hook. Tooth scaling is an excellent treatment for mild forms of gingivitis. Attending all of your professional cleaning sessions can prevent the accumulation of tartar on your teeth, which can help you avoid more serious forms of gum disease.

4. Seek treatment for existing periodontal disease.

If you are diagnosed with periodontal disease, it's important to seek treatment as soon as possible. When gum disease is left untreated, it can lead to permanent consequences, such as tooth loss. Severe periodontal disease can even cause infections in your jaw bone. 

Dentists can treat periodontal disease through surgical and non-surgical procedures. Root planing is one common treatment that allows dentists to clean tartar and plaque away from the roots of your teeth below the surface of your gums. If your gum disease extends further, your dentist may suggest flap surgery, in which a small flap will be cut in your gums to allow your dentist to clean well below your gum line.