Tens of millions of adults experience gum disease during their lifetimes. The older a person gets, the higher the likelihood of being diagnosed with this common problem becomes. Yet that does not mean having gingivitis or periodontitis is inevitable. In fact, you can work with your dentist in San Antonio, TX, and take steps on your own to improve the health of your teeth and gums.
Below are some of the top ways to prevent gum disease from developing or progressing. Remember that each of these strategies should be done as part of a consistent oral hygiene routine.
Learn How to Floss Correctly
You already know that you need to brush your teeth when you get up and before you go to bed. What about flossing, though? Many people forgo flossing because they do not understand its value—and cannot quite get the hang of the flossing motion.
Using dental floss appropriately whenever you brush loosens plaque-causing debris between your teeth and under your gums. By getting rid of the debris, you make it harder for gum disease-linked bacteria to grow.
So how do you floss the right way? Curve the floss against your teeth so it hugs the tooth base below the top of the gums. Go slowly and expect a little bleeding the first few times you use floss. Your gums will get accustomed to the motion and will stop bleeding or feeling tender afterwards.
Stop Using Tobacco Products
Smoking cigarettes and cigars, as well as using smokeless tobacco items, has been connected with gum disease. If you have been looking for a reason to quit anyway, keeping your teeth from eventually falling out due to progressive gum disease is a great excuse! As a side note, when you stop using tobacco, you also minimize one of the biggest oral cancer risk factors along with excessive alcohol use and overexposure to sunlight.
Visit Your Dentist Twice Every Year
Has it been a long time since you went to a dentist in San Antonio, TX? Do you sometimes wait 12, 18, or 24 months or longer between dental appointments? Letting too much time pass between checkups and cleanings can make it harder to spot and reverse gum disease in its initial stages.
If you avoid the dentist because of dental anxiety, talk with your favorite practice about sedation dentistry and other ways to ease dentist-related fears.
Stay on Top of Gum Disease’s Warning Signs
Gum disease can strike silently at first, but typically causes a few symptoms. One is bad breath that never seems to go away. Another is gums that bleed when you eat or drink. Plus, reddish, swollen, and receding gums can be indicators of oral concerns including gum disease.
Making just a few changes in your oral health and lifestyle habits can make all the difference. Even if you discover that you have gum disease, our dentists, Dr. Andrew J. Weber, Dr. Kent Hamilton, and Dr. John Kum, in our offices in San Antonio, TX, can offer solutions to manage your condition. Just call our team today at (210) 598-8933, to schedule your next check-in.